Are we witnessing the final days of the landline phone in the United States?

It’s possible you read the above question on your smartphone; if so, you’re in the majority. With a staggering 71.7% of U.S. adults (183 million) now relying solely on wireless phones, landlines are becoming a thing of the past.

But in some regions and across key demographics, landlines persist. The question is: Who’s still “jumping on the horn”?

To get to the bottom of this question, we analyzed trends in phone usage by adults aged 18 and over. Our analysis takes a closer look at the percentage of adults living in wireless-only (cell or mobile phone) households, those living with landline phones, and those without phones (phoneless). The result is a snapshot of where America’s relationship with landline phones endures, and where it’s fading fastest.

Key highlights

  • 7 in 10 adults are wireless-only phone users, which is about 183 million Americans nationwide.
  • Northeast residents are loyal to landlines. More than 4 in 10 adults (41.2%) in the Northeast still live in a household with a landline phone, which is more than any other region in the country.
  • New York is the landline capital of the U.S. More than half of adults in New York (52.4%), Massachusetts (52.1%), Maryland (50.8%), and New Jersey (50.5%) live in households that still have landline phones.
  • The heartland is “landline averse.” Adults in Idaho, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Mississippi are least likely to live in homes with landline telephones.
  • Seniors are the most likely age group to still have a landline phone. Half of Americans 65 and over (50.5%) have a landline phone in their home.

Landlines aren’t a thing of the past – yet. Over a quarter of U.S. adults (68.9 million people) still rely on landline phones, with the Northeast proving most reticent to go entirely wireless; more than 4 in 10 adults (41.2%) living along the eastern seaboard are holding onto their landlines.

Surprisingly, tech-forward California also stands out as a landline capital, with more than a third of its population (35%) continuing their landline usage.

Across the American heartland, in states like Idaho, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, landline usage is at its lowest, indicating a strong preference for alternative communication methods.

Top 10 States with the Most Landline Phone Users

#1. New York

  • Percent with landline phones: 52.4%
  • Total with landline phones: 8,103,042
  • Percent without landline phones: 47.6%
  • Total without landline phones: 7,221,604

#2. Massachusetts

  • Percent with landline phones: 52.1%
  • Total with landline phones: 2,854,712
  • Percent without landline phones: 47.9%
  • Total without landline phones: 2,586,226

#3. Maryland

  • Percent with landline phones: 50.8%
  • Total with landline phones: 2,376,000
  • Percent without landline phones: 49.2%
  • Total without landline phones: 2,268,426

#4. New Jersey

  • Percent with landline phones: 50.5%
  • Total with landline phones: 3,493,076
  • Percent without landline phones: 49.5%
  • Total without landline phones: 3,375,487

#5. New Hampshire

  • Percent with landline phones: 49.5%
  • Total with landline phones: 538,639
  • Percent without landline phones: 50.5%
  • Total without landline phones: 542,992

#6. Vermont

  • Percent with landline phones: 47.9%
  • Total with landline phones: 243,169
  • Percent without landline phones: 52.1
  • Total without landline phones: 258,906

#7. Pennsylvania

  • Percent with landline phones: 47.7%
  • Total with landline phones: 4,831,599
  • Percent without landline phones: 52.3%
  • Total without landline phones: 5,206,377

#8. Connecticut

  • Percent with landline phones: 47.7%
  • Total with landline phones: 1,350,502
  • Percent without landline phones: 52.3%
  • Total without landline phones: 1,463,752

#9. Delaware

  • Percent with landline phones: 46.1%
  • Total with landline phones: 347,393
  • Percent without landline phones: 53.9%
  • Total without landline phones: 403,157

#10. Rhode Island

  • Percent with landline phones: 45.5%
  • Total with landline phones: 386,699
  • Percent without landline phones: 54.5%
  • Total without landline phones: 458,089

How many Americans still use landline phones?

While Americans have a strong consumer appetite for new technologies, 68,982,680 Americans have retained their landline service. 

The mobile- and internet-communications crowd is, however, burgeoning – 183,187,338 Americans have gone wireless-only, leaving landlines in the past.

In just a few decades since the emergence of mobile and internet-based communication, Americans have made significant strides in embracing these technologies as their primary means of staying connected.

Today, more than 7-in-10 American adults (71.7%, or 183 million) rely solely on wireless phones, a remarkable increase from less than 3-in-10 adults (27.9%) in 2010.

How mobile phones took over America

In 2011-2012, Idaho marked a milestone in the transition to wireless communication, becoming the first state where a majority of residents abandoned landlines for wireless options. 

Between 2014 to 2016, the trend of wireless communications spread rapidly across the South and Midwest, causing a significant decline in landline demand nationally. States like the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida saw a shift from majority landline to majority mobile phone usage during this period.

Today, Idaho still leads the nation in wireless adoption, with 78.6% of residents living without landlines, closely followed by Oklahoma (77.5%) and Wyoming (77.2%). 

Landline vs. wireless phone users by state

It comes as no surprise: older adults are more likely to be available via landline. Adults 65 and over are still majority landline users – only 47.8% have converted to the mobile-only lifestyle. 

Similarly, while adults in the 45-64 age demographic have been some of the most enthusiastic adopters of mobile tech since 2010, they’re still the second-least likely to eschew their landlines, with only 71.2% in this group embracing the wireless lifestyle. 

For those between the ages of 25-44, there’s less than a 2-in-10 chance an operational landline is part of life. Americans between the ages of 30-34 are least likely to have a landline (88.4%), followed by those aged 25-29 (87.6%) and those aged 35-44 (83.3%).

As of 2022, the South has a slight edge over the Midwest in terms of mobile-only living. 88.4% of southern households go without landlines, just outpacing the Midwest’s rate of 87.6% living landline-free.

While the Northeast still lags behind other American regions on mobile-only living, their landline usage is declining steadily – while just 58% of households in the Northeast were landline-free in 2010, 78.8% are landline-free in 2022. 

The landscape of communication in America is undergoing a significant transformation, with the widespread adoption of mobile and internet-based technologies, the landline phone has seen a significant decline in usage. Today, the majority of American adults rely solely on wireless phones, marking a notable shift in how we connect with one another.

However, demographic and regional nuances abound. While some areas and demographics embrace modern technologies at a rapid pace, others opt for traditional communication methods. Understanding these trends can provide valuable feedback on the preferences and proclivities of American consumers.


This study analyzes the estimates of trends in the use of landline and wireless telephones by adults aged 18 and over in the United States. Data was analyzed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. Our analysis includes the percentage of adults living in households with only wireless telephones (cell phones, or mobile phones), landline phones, and adults without phones (phoneless). These estimates are the most up-to-date estimates available and are from 2022. 

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Fair Use: Feel free to use this data and research with proper attribution linking to this study.

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