NH households becoming more wireless

As of mid-2010, more than a quarter of all American households had wireless telephones but no landlines, compared to just 16 percent of households in New Hampshire.

But even though New Hampshire has the country’s fifth-smallest percentage of adults who live in wireless-only households, that number is still growing at a fast clip.

In the past several years, the percentage of New Hampshire adults who lived in wireless-only households more than doubled from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 16 percent in mid-2010, the most recent period for which data is available.

The statistics were part of a National Health Statistics Report released in April by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now the percentage of wireless-only adults in New Hampshire has eclipsed the percentage of adults who have only a landline, which, as of June 2010, was 10.6 percent – a difference that is expected to grow in the future, according to the report.

A plurality of New Hampshire adults, 31 percent, report splitting their talking time evenly between a cell phone and landline, while 28 percent reported having a cell phone but using their landline more frequently. An additional 13.4 percent of New Hampshire adults said they had a landline, but communicated primarily through wireless telephones.

The results of the report could have implications for telephone surveys, many of which are conducted using random-digit-dial and until recently did not include wireless telephone numbers.

The report found that not including wireless numbers could bias results of surveys.

Arkansas had the highest percentage of wireless-only households in the nation with 35.2 percent of adults reporting they had a wireless phone but no landline.

New Jersey and Rhode Island were tied for the smallest percentages nationally, with just 12.8 percent of adults living in wireless-only households.