Updated: 07/08/2014 9:48 AM
Created: 07/08/2014 9:45 AM WDIO.com
By: MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer
ATLANTA (AP) - More American households are ditching their old telephones: 4 out of 10 only use cellphones, a government survey shows.
That's twice the rate from just five years ago, although the pace of dumping landlines seems to have slowed down in recent years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking phone use for a decade, and the number of households only using cellphones had been rising by about 5 percentage points each year. Lately, the increases have been smaller and last year it only went up 3 percentage points to 41 percent of U.S. homes.
Why the slight leveling off? Experts could only speculate. The lead researcher on the CDC report, Stephen Blumberg, said it could be people are holding onto their landlines because it is part of their Internet and cable TV package. Or it could mean that we're hitting a ceiling for those people willing to completely abandon landlines, said John Palmer, a researcher at the Autonomous University in Barcelona, Spain, who was not involved in the report.
Some non-experts were surprised to hear that the change has slowed down a bit.
"We switched to only cellphones three years ago. The only time we would get calls on the landline was from telemarketers," said Justin Hodowanic, an 18-year-old college freshman from Atlanta.
Dan Warhola, 34, said he had a landline at his Columbus, Ohio, home but only because his security system was tied into it years ago when he bought his house.
"I couldn't even tell you what my (landline) phone number is," said Warhola, standing at baggage claim at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The CDC survey released Tuesday is based on in-person interviews in more than 21,000 homes during the last half of 2013. The researchers found:
- Not all homes have phones: About 3 percent have no landline or cellphone.
- About 9 percent have only landlines, and about 48 percent have both. Five years ago, 17 percent had only landlines, and about 60 percent had landlines and cellphones.
- Younger people rely more on cellphones: Nearly two-thirds of people in their late 20s live in households with only cellphones. Only 14 percent of people 65 and older use only cellphones.
- Men are a bit more likely to shun landlines than women.
- Poor adults are much more likely than higher-income people to have only cellphones.
- The Midwest is the most wireless region: About 44 percent live in cellphone-only homes. The South and West were nearly as high. In the Northeast, 25 percent live in cellphone-only households.
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Political Feud Reopens as Dayton Hikes Agency Head Pay
Eleven executive branch commissioners will get paid more than $150,000 per year and many others will receive big raises under a decision by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Hibbing Girl Continues to Wait for Medical Marijuana
Minnesota's first medical marijuana prescriptions will be filled Wednesday for qualifying patients, but one young girl from Hibbing will have to wait a bit longer.
Troubled Methadone Clinic to Close in September
The Lake Superior Treatment Center, which treats heroin addicts with methadone, is soon closing.
Developer Pulls Out of Duluth Central Agreement
The Duluth School District says a developer has pulled out of a deal to buy Central High School. Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors says the pre-development timeline is extensive and costly.
Habitat for Humanity Volunteers Repair Disabled Veteran's Home
Volunteers painted, landscaped and leveled stairs at disabled veteran Randall Millen's home Tuesday. Groups from the Home Depot partnered with Habitat for Humanity's A Brush With Kindness to honor Millen for serving his country.