As US smartphone ownership climbs higher, 15% of adults are now mobile-only

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As US smartphone ownership climbs higher, 15% of adults are now mobile-only
Smartphones are more accessible than ever and owning one in the age of 5G makes using the internet a lot easier. So much so that a growing number of people rely solely on their smartphones to access the internet.

Some 85% of US adults now own a smartphone


The Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2021 report (via 9to5mac) by Pew Research shows that smartphone ownership has grown to 85% among adults in the US. That’s up from 81% when research was last conducted in 2019.

Breaking the data down by age group, it’s clear that older people are still much less likely to own a smartphone. On average, 61% of respondents aged 65 and over had a device, compared to 96% of those aged 18-29 and 95% of those aged 30-49.

Ownership has, nevertheless, increased dramatically among older age groups and that trend is unlikely to slow anytime soon. Just two years ago ownership stood at 53% in the 65+ group.

Pew Research also found that income played an important role. Those living in households earning more than $30,000 and those with higher levels of education are much more likely to own a smartphone.

Around 15% of US adults are mobile-only internet users


In addition to the growing number of smartphone users, Pew Research discovered that 15% of US adults are now mobile-only internet users. In other words, they don’t have access to home broadband.

This trend is much more common among younger adults, with 28% of surveyed US adults aged 18-29 relying solely on their smartphone. That compares to just 12% of those 30 and older.

Household income plays an important role here too. Around 27% of those in households earning less than $30,000 are mobile-only internet users. That number shrinks to 13% among those with household incomes of $30,000-$74,999, and 6% among those earning over $75,000.

Among those surveyed that only use their smartphone to connect to the internet, almost half said that monthly cost is the reason for them not having a broadband connection. Around 40% say the cost of a computer is also a factor.
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