Most adults live in wireless-only households — and where that varies is important

Author: 

Generally speaking, pollsters are ill advised to ignore cellphone users, if only because they’d be missing half of the country. But there’s another reason that pollsters need to include cell users: The demographics of those with and without access to landlines is stark. Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic adults in the United States live in households that are wireless-only. More than half of black adults and Asian adults do, as well. But fewer than half of white Americans do. Including only landlines in polling — which, we will note, is not common practice at this point — means you’re much less likely to reach Hispanic voters. Or younger ones. There’s a trend undergirding this. Those under the federal poverty level are much more likely to live in wireless-only households than those earning at least twice that level. Income, age and race all correlate to another factor: homeownership. If you own a house, you’re much more likely to have a landline in that house, both because older Americans still have landlines/are more likely to own houses and because people who rent are less likely to have a landline installed.


Most adults live in wireless-only households — and where that varies is important