Wireless-Only Phone Use Varies Widely Across United States

Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:24pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Many adults with only cellphones not being included in important health

Oklahoma leads the nation in the percentage of households with cell phones
only, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention.  More than a quarter of households (26.2 percent) in Oklahoma had
only wireless and no landline phones in 2007.  On the other end of the
spectrum, only 5.1 percent of households in Vermont were wireless-only in

The report from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, "Wireless
Substitution: State-level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey,
January-December 2007," is the latest report on wireless substitution in the
United States.  

"These findings are important to CDC because many of our largest surveys are
done on calls to landline phone numbers.  All of those adults with only cell
phones are being missed in these surveys," said Stephen J. Blumberg, health
scientist with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of
the study.

In addition to Oklahoma, states with the highest percentage of wireless-only
households are Utah (25.5 percent), Nebraska (23.2 percent), Arkansas (22.6
percent) and Idaho (22.1 percent).  States with the lowest percentages,
following Vermont, are Connecticut (5.6 percent), Delaware (5.7 percent),
South Dakota (6.4 percent) and Rhode Island (7.9 percent).

The report also shows the percentage of adults who use only wireless phones is
also highest in Oklahoma (25.1 percent) and lowest in Delaware (4 percent). 
The District of Columbia also had a high percentage of adults who use cell
phones only (25.4 percent).

The percentage of wireless-only phone use among households and adults varies
greatly within regions.  For example, in the Midwest, the state that has the
most wireless-only households, Nebraska (23.2 percent), borders the state with
the least, South Dakota (6.4 percent).  

Results from previous CDC reports on wireless substitution show wireless-only
phone use continues to grow on a national level.  A recent report found that
17.5 percent of U.S. homes had only wireless telephones during the first half
of 2008 -- nearly 3 percentage points greater than the estimate for 2007 (14.7
percent).  The percentage of adults using only wireless-only phones also grew
from 13.6 percent in 2007 to 16.1 percent in the first half of 2008.

The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr014.htm.

CONTACT:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for
Health Statistics Office of Communication, +1-301-458-4800

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- March 11/ 

SOURCE  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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