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Old phones
Old phones on display at the Historical Telephone Museum in Cle Elum, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Increasingly, and unsurprisingly it seems, the only time you’re going to hear a telephone ring that sounds like a landline is when someone has his cell phone ringtone set up that way — because, nostalgia! A new survey shows 52 percent of U.S. adults live in households with no landline phones.

The GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer found that the percentage of cell-phone-only households has doubled since 2010, when it was 26 percent.

Even our parents and grandparents are getting in on the act of ditching the landline with more frequency, as seniors age 65 and up quadrupled the number of cell-only households over the past six years to 23 percent. By contrast, millennials pretty much only reach for their pockets when a phone rings — the figure for that group, born between 1977 and 1994, rose from 47 percent to 71 percent.

As for other generations, only 40 percent of Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) live in cell-only households, while Generation X (born 1965 to 1976) is at 55 percent.

The survey also broke down differences among ethnicities and races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin show the highest percentage of cell-only households at 67 percent. Most other groups report around 50 percent: Asian Americans (54 percent); whites (51 percent); and African Americans (50 percent).

The popularity of bundled television, internet, landline, and cellphone services is to blame for the Northeast showing the lowest percentage geographically for cell-only homes at 39 percent. In other regions of the U.S., no-landline percentages range from 53 percent in the Midwest to 57 percent in the South.

GfK MRI’s survey was is based on interviews with approximately 24,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and above.

Take the attached GeekWire Poll and tell us if there’s still a landline in your house.

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