More Americans cutting the landline cord

More than one in six American households depended solely on cell phones for their telephone communications during the first half of 2008, according to a new survey.

More Americans are ditching traditional landlines in favor of cell phone services, according to the results of a federal survey released Wednesday.

More than one in six American households, or 17.5 percent, depended solely on cell phones for their telephone communications during the first half of 2008, up from 13.6 percent a full year earlier, according to survey results released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 13.3 percent of American households reportedly received all or almost all of their calls on cell phones despite having a landline telephone in their home.

The group relying most on cell-only service was unrelated adults living as roommates (63 percent), followed by adults aged 25-29 years (35.7 percent), and renters (33.6 percent).

Men (18 percent) were more likely than women (14.4 percent) to be living in households with only cell service, while adults living in poverty (26 percent) and adults living near poverty (22.6 percent) were more likely than adults with higher incomes (14.2 percent) to be living in households with only cell phones.

However, the survey also found that cell-only households were more likely to contain binge drinkers (37.7 percent) than those having landline phones (17.2 percent).

The findings mirror those released by Nielsen Mobile in September that found more than 20 million households in America, or about 17 percent, had dumped their landline service for cell phones. And the trend is expected to continue as more Americans feel the squeeze from the weakening economy. Many see traditional phone service, which averages about $40 a month, as a household expense that can be cut, especially since more than 85 percent of the U.S. population own a cell phone.

 

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