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Wireless-Only Phone Use Varies Widely Across U.S.

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2009

Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics Office of Communication (301) 458-4800
E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

Wireless Substitution: State-level Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-December 2007. NHSR Number 14. 14 pp.
PDF Version (586 KB)
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A new study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reveals that Oklahoma is leading the nation’s wireless-only movement, with more than one in four households (26.2%) in that state using only wireless phones in 2007. On the other end of the spectrum, only 5.1% of households in Vermont were wireless-only in 2007.

The new report, "Wireless Substitution: State-level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-December 2007," is the latest release on wireless substitution from NCHS. The report shows the percentage of adults who use only wireless phones is also highest in Oklahoma (25.1%) and lowest in Delaware (4.0%).

States with the highest percentage of wireless-only households, following Oklahoma, are Utah (25.5%), Nebraska (23.2%), Arkansas (22.6%), and Idaho (22.1%). States with the lowest percentages, following Vermont, are Connecticut (5.6%), Delaware (5.7%), South Dakota (6.4%), and Rhode Island (7.9%).

States with the highest percentage of adults using only wireless phones, following Oklahoma, are Utah (23.9%), Nebraska (22.4%), Kentucky (21.6%), and Idaho (21.3%). States with the lowest percentage, following Delaware, are Vermont (4.6%), Connecticut (4.8%), Rhode Island (5.3%), and Montana (5.4%).

The new report also shows that the percentage of wireless-only phone use among households and adults varies greatly within regions. For example, in the Midwest, the state that has the most wireless-only households, Nebraska (23.2%), borders the state with the least, South Dakota (6.4%).

Results from previous NCHS reports on wireless substitution show that wireless-only phone use continues to grow on a national level. A recent release found that one out of every six American homes (17.5%) had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2008 -- nearly three percentage points greater than the estimate for 2007 (14.7%). The percentage of adults using only wireless-only phones also grew from 13.6% in 2007 to 16.1% in the first half of 2008.

NCHS tracks wireless-only phone use to assess potential implications for data collection from health surveys and other research conducted using random-digit-dialing methods on landline phones.

 
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