ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) — The rise of the mobile phone has pushed the amount of U.S. homes that have or use a landline down to World War II-era levels.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, (which uses the data to help adapt its collection and outreach programs) 51.7 percent of U.S. homes didn’t have or didn’t use a landline telephone in 2012. More than one-third of American homes (35.8 percent) only had wireless phones, while 15.9 percent of all households had both wireless and landline phones.

In the four years covered by the survey, the percent of households that have a landline but no wireless service has dropped from 17.4 to 9.4, and the percent that are wireless has only increased from 20.2 to 35.8.

It took landlines until 1975 to reach the prevalence that mobile phones have in the U.S. today – about 90 percent.

And an overall breakdown of the demographics separating the two types of phone users shows that the more stable one’s living situation, the more likely one is to own a landline telephone.

Six in 10 adults aged 25–29 (60.1 percent) lived in households that only used wireless telephones, and that number drops as household members age. More than half of all adults renting their home (58.2 percent) had only wireless telephones. This is more than double the rate for adults owning their home, which is at 23.2 percent. Landline owners are also nearly twice as likely to have health insurance coverage as their wireless-only counterparts.

Men are more likely than women to live in homes that only use wireless phones. 35.2 percent of men were more likely than women (32.9 percent) to be living in households containing only wireless telephones.

This new data comes as the FCC is beginning its regulatory process to change certain rules pertaining to telephone companies such as AT&T and Verizon. They are phasing out copper-based voice lines, and inevitably looking to get such companies out of the landline business altogether in the coming years.


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