Idaho’s the only state where a majority of adult households have no landlines

December 24, 2013

More adults in Idaho have embraced wireless life than have adults in any other state, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s the only state where a majority of adult residents, 52.3 percent, own only wireless telephones.

Some of the nation’s poorest states, as measured by per capita income, are also home to the highest share of wireless-only homes, according to a comparison of the data. More than 45 percent of adults in Idaho, Mississippi, Arkansas and Utah live in households with only wireless telephone access. Meanwhile, each of those states ranked among the bottom five in terms of per capita personal income last year.

Just under a fifth of New Jersey households are wireless-only, a smaller share than in any other state. Anywhere from one in four to one in five adults in Massachusetts, New York, Delaware and Connecticut live in wireless-only households. All but Delaware rank among the top six in the nation in per capita income.

Largely rural Western and Southern states are home to high rates of mostly wireless households, Pew Research Center writer Drew DeSilver points out. Several northeastern states have some of the lowest rates of wireless-only households.

Other CDC data show that wireless-only living is particularly popular among four demographic groups: adults 18 to 34 years old, those living with unrelated roommates, those renting their homes, and those living in poverty. Three in four adults with roommates lived in wireless-only households, more than any of the other groups, though majorities of each group lived in such homes.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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