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Cellphones: New State-Level Estimates

The National Center for Health Statistics, the federal outfit whose data on the sharp growth in the "cell-only" population has convinced many pollsters to expand their techniques, today released state-by-state estimates on cellphone usage. The results are sure to roil those doing survey research in Oklahoma, Utah and right here in the District of Columbia.

The new report estimates that a quarter of all adults in Washington, D.C. and Oklahoma have only cellphone service at home, the top rate in the nation. In Utah, the NHIS puts the figure at 24 percent. The range across the states is big, dropping all the way to 4 percent in Delaware.

These estimates are just that, they're "estimates" based on a complicated model using national and state-level data. The results have wide error margins, amplified among jurisdictions with fewer people. The widest possible range for the percentage of cell-only adults in D.C. is between 15.2 and 34.1 percent.

That said, these numbers probably underestimate the cell-only population across states as the model uses 2007 data, and we know from newer NHIS surveys that the cell-only population rose by about three percentage points nationally after those data were collected.

The full list follows, and here's a link to the new report.

District of Columbia     25.4
Oklahoma                 25.1
Utah                     23.9
Nebraska                 22.4
Kentucky                 21.6
Idaho                    21.3
Arkansas                 21.2
Tennessee                20.8
New Mexico               20.5
Mississippi              20.3
Texas                    19.5
South Carolina           19.2
Iowa                     18.9
North Dakota             18.1
Oregon                   18.1
Arizona                  17.1
Minnesota                16.5
Washington               15.6
Florida                  15.5
Michigan                 15.3
Colorado                 15.2
Illinois                 15.2
Kansas                   15.2
Georgia                  15
North Carolina           14.8
Louisiana                13.8
Wisconsin                13.6
Alaska                   13.3
Ohio                     13.1
Indiana                  13
Wyoming                  13
Alabama                  12.2
Maine                    12
New York                 10.6
West Virginia            10.6
Nevada                   10.1
Virginia                 10
Maryland                 9.8
Pennsylvania             9.2
New Hampshire            8.9
California               8.4
Massachusetts            8.4
Missouri                 8.4
Hawaii                   8.2
South Dakota             6.8
New Jersey               6.1
Montana                  5.4
Rhode Island             5.3
Connecticut              4.8
Vermont                  4.6
Delaware                 4

By Jon Cohen  |  March 11, 2009; 12:16 PM ET
Categories:  Polls  
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