Survey: More US homes go landline-free

Survey: More US homes go landline-free
© Thinkstock

More than 4 in 10 American homes are landline phone-free and relying exclusively on cellphone service, according to a government survey released Tuesday.

That’s an increase over recent years, yet the growth of cellphone-only households might be slowing over time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded.


The CDC has been mapping cellphone usage for years. The new analysis covered the last six months of 2013.

Last year, the percentage of cellphone-only households rose by only about 3 percent, compared with 5 percent growth from 2009-2010.

The 41 percent of households without a landline telephone account for nearly 93 million adults and almost 35 million children across the country.

People under 30, houses with several unrelated roommates, poorer residents and Hispanic people were more likely to be relying solely on their cellphones.

Nearly 9 percent of American households had only landline service, without wireless access.

Among households with both landline and cellphones, about a third said that all or nearly all of their calls came in through their cellphones.

That could be an indication that many people are sticking with the traditional landline phones out of comfort or as part of a “bundle” through a company like Verizon or Comcast, which sell landline service in a package along with cable TV and high-speed Internet.

Those bundles have been a point of contention on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers have accused the cable companies of playing up the packaged deals when consumers might just want one or two services.

Still, some homes have no phone service at all. That number has remained relatively constant at about 2.5 percent, the CDC found, which works out to about 5 million adults and nearly 2 million children.