Landline? What’s a Landline?

Though the abandonment of landlines is (as popular stereotype would suggest) a phenomenon that skews young, it has also become more common among the not-as-young. Based on a new analysis of four surveys conducted since last October, Harris Interactive reports that 17 percent of consumers age 30-39 have only a cell phone, as do 9 percent of the 40-49s, 6 percent of the 50-64s and 5 percent of those 65-plus. Among 18-29-year-olds, the figure is 32 percent.

The polling finds that 89 percent of adults have a cell phone, more than the 79 percent who have a landline. Fifteen percent use the Internet for VoIP phone service. The number of cell-only adults now exceeds the number of landline-only adults, 14 percent vs. 9 percent. Indeed, since 2006, the decline in number of landline-only adults (from 18 percent) has been steeper than the rise in number of cell-only adults (from 11 percent).

Sixteen percent of men inhabit cell-only households, as do 12 percent of women. In a breakdown of the data by race and ethnicity, Asians were the most likely to be cell-only (24 percent) and non-Hispanic blacks the least likely (9 percent), with non-Hispanic whites (14 percent) and Hispanics (17 percent) falling in between.