Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Children in Wireless-Only Households

In 12 states, at least half the children under age 18 live in wireless-only households—meaning their household has a cell phone but no landline phone, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The 12 states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Nationally, 45 percent of children live in wireless-only households. Among adults, a smaller 38 percent are wireless-only. Children are more likely to be wireless-only because parents of children under age 18 are younger than the average adult and more likely to own a cell phone.

Another reason children are more likely than adults to be wireless-only is the low incomes of many of today's parents. Among the poor, the 55 percent majority are wireless-only. Among those who are not poor, the figure is just 33 percent. The poverty factor explains why Mississippi, the poorest state, has the largest share of children living in a wireless-only household—63 percent in 2012.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, Wireless Substitution: State-level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2012; and Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-June, 2013

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