According to the Pew Internet Project’s 2011 teen survey, three quarters (77%) of teens have a cell phone, a figure that is similar to the 75% of teens who owned a cell phone in September 2009 and up dramatically from the 45% of teens who were cell owners in late 2004.
Older teens ages 14 to 17 are substantially more likely to have a cell phone than younger teens ages 12 and 13 – 87% of older teens have a cell phone, compared with 57% of younger teens. Since 2009, the number of older teens with mobile phones has increased from 80%, while the percentage of younger teens with cell phones has declined slightly, from 66% in 2009.
In 2011, the youngest boys are the least likely of the groups to have a mobile phone – just under half (47%) have a cell phone, compared with 67% of girls 12 to 13 and 85% of older girls and 88% of older boys. There are no differences in phone ownership between boys and girls overall, as was the case in 2009 as well.
White teens are more likely to have a cell phone than Latino teens (81% vs. 63%). Teens with parents who have a high school education or greater are more likely than teens whose parents lack a high school diploma to have a cell phone. And teens from the highest income households – where families earn more than $75,000 annually – are more likely than any other income bracket to own a mobile phone. Suburban teens are more likely than urban teens to have a mobile phone (83% vs. 69%). Teen social media users are more likely than others to have a mobile phone (82% have one vs. 69% of those who do not use social media).