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Survey Reveals People Who Still Own a Landline Phone Are Falling Way, Way Behind the Times


Landlines are going the way of phone books.

According to new research from the Census Bureau, a little less than 71% of American homes had landline phones in 2011. That may seem like a lot, but it’s a significant drop from the 96% who had landlines in 1998.

As you can probably guess, cell phone ownership is responsible for this – 89% of households had them in 2011, an enormous jump from 1998, when 36% of households had mobile phones (and, at that point in time, a lot of people said, “It’s only for emergencies,” obviously unaware that playing Candy Crush would become an emergency someday).

Seventy-eight percent of households also reported owning a computer in 2011, a healthy jump from the 21% who did in 1992.

Not surprisingly, young people are the ones spurring this change. A total of 81% of homes headed by folks between the ages of 15 and 29 own a computer, yet only 73% have a washing machine in their place of residence, indicating that a good chunk of us are more concerned with posting photos on Facebook and less with wearing well-pressed, clean clothes in said pictures.

It’s not just phones or computers that are becoming more of a staple in our lives, either. The microwave is just about a ubiquitous presence in residences. In 2011, 97% of households had one, compared to 82% in 1992.

As far as what might be considered traditional appliances to keep in the home, only 64% of households in 2011 had a washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and a landline or cell phone.

And if you do have all those, we’d be willing to bet you have a healthy utility bill, but that’s a whole other story.

[PR Newswire]

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