85 percent of US adults own cellphone: survey

Feb 04, 2011
A woman using her cellphone in New York. A survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 85 percent of Americans 18 and older own a cellphone and 90 percent of all adults live in a household with at least one cellphone.

Mobile phones are the most popular gadget among adult Americans followed by computers, digital music players, game consoles and electronic book readers, according to a new survey.

The survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 85 percent of Americans 18 and older own a cellphone and 90 percent of all adults live in a household with at least one cellphone.

Fifty-nine percent of American adults own a desktop computer, 52 percent own a laptop computer and four percent own a tablet like Apple's iPad, Pew said in the study, "Generations and their gadgets."

Forty-seven percent own an iPod or another MP3 and 42 percent own a game console.

Five percent own an e-book reader like Amazon's Kindle.

Only nine percent of those surveyed do not own any of the devices although the percentage of "gadget-less" rises to 20 percent among Americans aged 66 to 74 and to 43 percent among those 75 or older.

Americans between 18 and 34 were more likely to own a laptop computer (70 percent) than a desktop computer (57 percent). Only 28 percent of Americans 75 and older own desktops and only 10 percent own laptops.

Digital music players are most popular among the 18 to 34 crowd with 74 percent of so-called "Millennials" owning one, Pew said, and the percentage decreasing steadily by age.

Game consoles are equally popular among adults aged 18 to 34 and those 35 to 46, with 63 percent of both age groups owning the devices and the number falling to 38 percent among those between the ages of 47 to 56.

Pew said the of 3,001 American adults was conducted in August and September and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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