Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Do you still have a landline at home? Odds are that if you are in The Advocate coverage area, you do not. Odds are better that you do if you are over 55. Still, if you have a landline, you are part of only 16.8% (456,400 homes) of Dallas residents in this recently published study who say they have a landline.

Compared to our sub 17%, nationwide the percentage of homes with landlines averages about 31.3%.

report from data analysts at HireAHelper using U.S. Census data shows Dallas reports the lowest percentage of homes with a landline among the 24 metro areas included in the survey.

As they ranked the cities, in the event of a tie, the metro with the larger total number of homes with a landline was higher. Researchers also calculated the percentage of householders 55 and over with a landline and the percentage of householders 55 and over.

According to Pew Research Center, more than 97% of adults own some type of cell u lar device and more than 85% own a smartphone. Over the past three decades, because we just don’t really need them, landline phone ownership has declined dramatically.

According to data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of households with only a landline (and no wireless) was 15.5% back in 2009, while the share of households with both a landline and wireless was nearly 60%. Over the next 10 years, these numbers were cut by about two-thirds and one-half respectively. In 2019, just over 31% still had a landline.

While households with only a landline phone have become exceedingly rare, nearly one in three households continue to pay for a landline system alongside other services such as wifi.

Some who might otherwise give up their landline phones still have them because they are bundled with cable and/or internet service. Some keep landlines in case of emergencies, since they work without power and are sometimes required for certain home security or medical alert systems.

Sideline: Shout out to Dad and Grandma, both of whom continue to use the phone numbers and landlines I grew up dialing, but who also both have embraced new technology and social media.

Indeed older Americans and those living in older homes are far more likely to have landline phones. Among those 75 and older, 75% have landlines. The figure is less than 5% for those under 25. Likewise, just 16% of homes built within the last few years—2018 to 2019—have landlines. In contrast, 35% of those built in the 1950s are equipped with a landline phone.

New York, Pittsburg and Philadelphia report the highest percentage of homes with landlines. For the full and searchable list of cities — where you can compare us to other cities — visit the full report.


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