15 U.S. Cities That Have the Most Landlines

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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on HireAHelper.

There are few consumer products as ubiquitous as the mobile phone. According to Pew Research Center, more than 97% of adults own some type of mobile device and more than 85% own a smartphone.

As mobile phones have exploded in popularity over the past three decades, landline phone ownership has declined sharply.

According to data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of households with only a landline (and no wireless) was 15.5% in early 2009, while the share of households with both a landline and wireless was nearly 60%. Over the next 10 years, these numbers were cut by about two-thirds and one-half respectively. In 2019, just over 31% of American households still had a landline.

While households with only a landline phone have become extremely rare, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. households continue to pay for a landline system alongside other services, such as cellular or broadband.

To find the metropolitan areas where residents still have landlines, researchers at HireAHelper analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau data only includes statistics from select states and metropolitan areas. Read more about our methodology and data at the end.

Of these locations, here are the metros with the greatest share of households with landline phones.

15. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 27.1%
  • Total homes with a landline: 141,400
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 45.9%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 38.9%

14. Seattle, WA

Seattle skyline
Checubus / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 27.3%
  • Total homes with a landline: 417,200
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 48.2%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 40.5%

13. Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles neighborhood in San Fernando Valley
trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 27.7%
  • Total homes with a landline: 1,219,200
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 45.0%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 43.6%

12. Detroit, MI

Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 28.6%
  • Total homes with a landline: 489,600
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 42.9%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 49.3%

11. Riverside, CA

Riverside California neighborhood
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 29.0%
  • Total homes with a landline: 398,700
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 41.4%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 43.2%

10. Chicago, IL

moondogpro / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 29.3%
  • Total homes with a landline: 1,040,900
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 46.3%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 46.7%

9. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 30.9%
  • Total homes with a landline: 196,600
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 45.6%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 45.7%

8. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
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  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 34.1%
  • Total homes with a landline: 584,100
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 49.8%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 42.8%

7. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 37.7%
  • Total homes with a landline: 331,700
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 51.8%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 46.6%

6. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 38.6%
  • Total homes with a landline: 866,400
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 58.1%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 41.2%

5. Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, Ohio
Pedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 39.3%
  • Total homes with a landline: 346,500
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 54.9%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 51.2%

4. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 40.5%
  • Total homes with a landline: 763,600
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 59.2%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 46.2%

3. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
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  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 40.9%
  • Total homes with a landline: 957,300
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 54.7%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 48.7%

2. New York, NY

New York City
Taiga / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 41.6%
  • Total homes with a landline: 3,054,700
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 57.0%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 44.3%

1. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh
esb-professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of homes with a landline: 45.8%
  • Total homes with a landline: 483,300
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline: 62.9%
  • Percentage of householders 55 and over: 53.6%

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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To find the locations where residents still have landlines, researchers at HireAHelper analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Housing Survey.

The researchers ranked locations according to the percentage of homes with a landline. In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger total number of homes with a landline was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline and the percentage of householders 55 and over.

The American Housing Survey only includes data from select states and metropolitan areas, and thus the analysis is limited to these select geographic areas.