25% of US households have a cell phone but no landline

Posted by Mike Luttrell

One-fourth of American homes now has no traditional landline even though they do have mobile phone service, while only 15% have a landline with no cell phone.

The Centers for Disease Control have been tracking the statistic since 2006. Back then, it found that 11% of homes only had a mobile number. In just 3 years, that number more than doubled to 23% in 2009.

Today's report shows that the trend is increasing, and people are indeed continuing to ditch traditional phone service. Most homes that already had a landline are not getting rid of it, though. The number is increasing due to young adults and poor people moving into new homes for the first time.

The CDC reported that 60% of households still had both landline and mobile service, a statistic that has not budged since it began tracking such numbers.

The number of people who exclusively have mobile service is directly proportional to their poverty level. 36% of those below the federal poverty line of $22,000 a year for a family of 4 have a cell phone line but no home phone. Even at higher incomes, though (over $44,000), the number is 20%.

And for those between 25 and 29, 50% did not have a landline number, while people over 65 are still relying heavily on the traditional service - only 5% of them have decided to go cell-only.

Even for those with home phone service, though, the majority are now connected through digital signals through cable or satellite providers, or a voice-over IP service. The days of the old-fashioned phone company oligopoly are certainly nearing an end.