More than half of US households have ditched landline phones

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More than half of US households — 53.9% — rely entirely on cellphones, according to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2006, only 15.8% of survey respondents said they didn’t have a landline telephone. The iPhone and its Android counterparts launched the next year, and the rate of landline abandonment has since steadily climbed. “There are countries in Europe where 80 to 90% of households are wireless only, so this trend could continue for some time,” said Stephen J. Blumberg, one of the researchers who compiled the NCHS report.

The health statistics center’s survey also found that members of cellphone-only households were more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, lacking health insurance and driving without seat belts, although the survey did not delve into why that might be. Ten years ago, cutting a landline was itself considered a riskier behavior, Blumberg said, because having a landline was associated with home ownership, adulthood, settling down and stability. “That’s not the case anymore,” he said.

More than half of US households have ditched landline phones Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2017