Given the frequency with which teens text, it follows that they would be sending and receiving a very large number of text messages and the data bear this out. The typical text messaging teen sends and receives 50 texts a day, or 1500 text messages a month. Girls text more than boys do; girls who text typically send and receive 80 texts a day, boys send and receive 30. Older teens text more than younger ones: Teens ages 12-13 who text send and receive 20 texts a day, while high school-age teens typically send and receive 60 text messages a day. Older girls are the most active texters, with 14-17 year-old girls typically sending and receiving 100 text messages a day, or more than 3000 texts a month. In general, a little more than one-fifth of teens who text (22%) send and receive between 1-10 texts a day (i.e. 30 to 300 a month). Younger boys are the most likely to text in this manner. At the other end of the scale, about 14% of teens send between 100-200 texts a day, or between 3000 and 6000 text messages a month. Another 14% of teens send more than 200 text messages a day – or more than 6000 texts a month. In light of these findings, it is not surprising that three-quarters of teens (75%) have an unlimited text messaging plan.
There are also some differences in text messaging by race and ethnicity. While white texting teens typically send and receive 50 texts a day, black teens who text typically send and receive 60 texts and English-speaking Hispanic teens send and receive just 35. The mean number of text messages are similar for these groups (whites average 111 texts a day, blacks 117, and Hispanics 112), suggesting that black teens have a slightly higher baseline level of texting than whites or Hispanics. There are no significant socio-economic differences in the average numbers of texts sent a day by teens in different groups. As one high school girl explained: "My parents will kind of joke about it. I think my last phone’s bill had like altogether 3,000 text messages and they were like, ‘How do you even do that?’ That’s not that bad. But I don’t think it’s too big of an issue. They wouldn’t actually get mad about it since it’s unlimited."