Stat of the Day – May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

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Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July-December, 2016

May 4, 2017

Questions for Stephen Blumberg, Ph.D., Health Scientist and Lead Author of “Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July-December, 2016

Q:  What does cell phone use have to do with Americans’ health?

SB:  The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) does not monitor cell phone ownership in the United States because of any concerns about the impact of cell phones on health. Rather, NCHS monitors cell phone ownership because of concerns about the impact of cell phones on health surveys. Many health surveys are conducted using telephone data collection, and it is important to know the size and characteristics of the wireless-only population to ensure that they are adequately represented in telephone-based health surveys.


Q:  What do you think is the most striking finding in your report?

SBThe change in the balance of landline-phone and cell-phone-only households is quite striking. We’ve been monitoring telephone ownership in the United States since 2003, and we have seen a steady increase over time in the number of households that have cut-the-cord and become wireless-only. The second half of 2016, however, is the first time we have observed that more than 50% of households are wireless-only. Households with landlines are now in the minority in the United States.


Q:  What characteristics are most strongly associated with the types of telephones households use?

SB:  The strongest predictor of whether an adult lives in a wireless-only household is the adult’s age. Younger adults are more likely to be wireless-only than older adults. For example, about two-thirds of adults under 45 are wireless-only, whereas only about one-third of adults 45 and over are wireless-only. After age, home ownership is the next strongest predictor. Adults who rent their homes are more likely to be wireless-only than adults who own their homes. We see this difference regardless of the adult’s age. Finally, we also see that where people live predicts whether they still have a landline. Adults living in the Northeast – and especially home owners in the Northeast – are much less likely to be wireless-only than adults living in other regions of the United States.


Q:  What is the take-home message of your report?

SB:  I think the take-home message is how important it is for telephone-based surveys to include adequate numbers of cell-phone-only households. The prevalence of wireless-only households continues to increase. We see no evidence that this trend is slowing. And adults who live in wireless-only households are different from adults who live in households with landlines. Not only are they younger on average, but they are also more likely to drink alcohol in excess, more likely to smoke, and less likely to have health insurance coverage. For these reasons, it remains important that telephone-based health surveys include adequate numbers of wireless-only households to ensure that their survey estimates are valid.


Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2015

May 11, 2016

wireless_201605Preliminary results from the July– December 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow.

Nearly one-half of American homes (48.3%) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the second half of 2015—an increase of 2.9 percentage points since the second half of 2014.

More than two-thirds of all adults aged 25-34 and of adults renting their homes were living in wireless-only households.

A new NCHS report presents the most up-to-date estimates available from the federal government concerning the size and characteristics of this population.


Number of American Homes with Wireless Only Telephones Continues to Grow

December 1, 2015

NCHS has released a new report with data from the National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program looking at selected estimates of telephone coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population

The estimates use January–June 2015 data and are based on in-person interviews that are conducted throughout the year to collect information on health status, health-related behaviors, and health care access and utilization. The survey also includes information about household telephones and whether anyone in the household has a wireless telephone.

Findings:

  • Nearly one-half of American homes (47.4%) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the first half of 2015—an increase of 3.4 percentage points since the first half of 2014.
  • More than two-thirds of all adults aged 25-34 and of adults renting their homes were living in wireless-only households.

Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2014

June 23, 2015

Preliminary results from the July– December 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow.

More than two in every five American homes (45.4%) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the second half of 2014—an increase of 4.4 percentage points since the second half of 2013. More than one-half of all adults aged 18-44 and of children under 18 were living in wireless-only households.

A new NCHS report presents the most up-to-date estimates available from the federal government concerning the size and characteristics of these populations.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In the second 6 months of 2014, more than two in every five households (45.4%) did not have a landline telephone but did have at least one wireless telephone.
  • Approximately 106 million adults (44.1% of all adults) lived in households with only wireless telephones; about 40 million children (54.1% of all children) lived in households with only wireless telephones.
  • More than two-thirds of adults aged 25–29 (69.2%) and aged 30-34 (67.4%) lived in households with only wireless telephones. These rates are greater than the rate for those 18–24 (57.8%).
  • The percentage of adults living with only wireless telephones decreased as age increased beyond 35 years: 53.7% for those 35–44; 36.8% for those 45–64; and 17.1% for those 65 and over.
  • Four in five adults living only with unrelated adult roommates (81.3%) were in households with only wireless telephones. This rate is higher than the rates for adults living alone (49.5%), adults living only with spouses or other adult family members (35.8%), and adults living with children (50.8%).
  • Two in three adults living in rented homes (66.2%) had only wireless telephones. This rate is twice the rate for adults living in homes owned by a household member (33.1%).
  • Adults living in poverty (59.4%) were more likely than those living near poverty (51.1%) and higher income adults (42.5%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

Homes with only Wireless Telephones Continues to Grow

December 19, 2013

Two new reports on wireless telephones show that percentage of adults and children living in households that do not have a landline telephone but have at least one wireless telephone have gone up. 

The first report shows preliminary results from the January–June 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) on wireless telephones. The report found that two in every five American homes (39.4%) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the first half of 2013—an increase of 1.2 percentage points since the second half of 2012. In addition, nearly one of every six American homes (15.7%) received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite also having a landline telephone.

The second report shows state-level estimates from the 2012 NHIS on wireless telephones.  This report found the prevalence of wireless-only adults and children varied substantially across states. State-level estimates for 2012 ranged from 19.4% (New Jersey) to 52.3% (Idaho) of adults and from 20.6% (New Jersey) to 63.4% (Mississippi) of children.

 

 

 


Million of U.S Adults are Identified as Wireless Families

May 14, 2008

Did you know that one in six homes have only wireless telephone? Approximately 31 million adults (14.0%)  lived in wireless-mostly households during the last 6 months of 2007, an increase from 28 million (12.6%) during the first 6 months of 2007. Read more about wireless-mostly households here!