CDC: 41 percent of US households now mobile-only

By Aditi Pai
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Mobile Phone UsersThe percentage of households in the US that do not have landline phones and rely on mobile phones continues to rise. The annual CDC survey recently found that the number now stands at 41 percent.

Just over 57 percent of consumers with a landline described their health status as excellent or very good, compared to 63.8 percent of consumers who only use a mobile phone, according to the recent CDC survey of 17,967 consumers. In the group of consumers surveyed, 9,648 had a landline and may have also had a mobile phone, 7,875 only had mobile phones, and 444 said they were phoneless altogether.

A greater percentage of respondents with only mobile phones were engaged in physical activity more, 40 percent, followed by those with landlines, 36 percent, and consumers without a phone, 32 percent. 

Wireless-only consumers drank the most alcoholic drinks. Some 29 percent of wireless-only particpants had five or more alcoholic drinks in one day at least once in the past year, while 27 percent of those in the phoneless group did, and only 17 percent of consumers who owned a landline did. Wireless only consumers and phoneless consumers were also more likely to be smokers. A smoker was defined as "a person who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in his or her lifetime and now smokes every day or some days." Twenty two percent of the mobile-only group, 21 percent of the phoneless consumers, and 15 percent of the landline consumers were self-reported smokers.

The same percentage of consumers across all groups, 29 percent, reported that they were obese and in every group, around 3 percent said they had an asthma episode in the past year. The consumers with landlines had the largest percentage of people with diabetes, almost 12 percent, followed by phoneless consumers, almost 8 percent, and wireless-only consumers, 6 percent.

A majority of consumers across the board had a usual place to go for medical care -- 90 percent of participants with a landline, 74.9 percent of those who only had a mobile phone, and 75 percent of phoneless people.

People who had no phone were most likely to also not have insurance, 27.2 percent didn't. Just over 25 percent of mobile-only participants didn't have insurance, and 14 percent of participants with a landline didn't have insurance. Still, only a small percentage of all consumers couldn't get the medical care they needed in past year because of financial barriers -- 5.4 percent of participants with a landline, 10.9 percent of consumers with only a mobile phone, and 10.7 percent of consumers without a phone.