Believe it or not, cell phones have been a part of life for over 20 years. For many people around the world, their phone is practically an extension of who they are. Below, we’ll dig into some key statistics on how we use cell phones today.
Cell Phone Usage Statistics
1. The Average American Spends 2 Hours and 54 Minutes on their Phone Every Day
Per a recent study, Americans spend nearly three hours every day looking at their phones. That amounts to an astonishing month and a half of screen time over the course of a year.
2. 85% of Americans Check Their Phone When Speaking with Family Members or Friends
While some would consider it rude to check a phone while talking to someone, the vast majority will do it. Overall, around 85% of phone users take a look at their device when conversing with family or friends.
3. 44% of Americans Check Their Phone Will Crossing the Street
While looking at a device while walking into a road isn’t considered safe, about 44% of Americans who own a device check their phone while crossing the street.
4. 46% of Americans Check Their Phone Before Getting Out of Bed
For many Americans, checking a smartphone is the very first thing they do before getting up. 46% of those surveyed – and 66% of younger millennials – check their phones while in bed in the morning. And that’s not even counting the 9% of those surveyed that kept a tab on their smartphone throughout the night. All told, 83% of Americans check their smartphones before they’ve finished breakfast.
5. The Average Smartphone User Checks Their Device 47 Times a Day
On average, smartphone users check their device 47 times ever day. If you spend 16 hours awake, that equates to almost one check every 20 minutes. Younger users check their phones nearly twice as often: 18-to-24 year olds take a look 86 per times per day, roughly once every 11 minutes.
[Source: Journal of Accountancy]
Smartphone Addiction Statistics
6. Half of Teens Say They Are Addicted to Their Smartphone
While not officially diagnosed by a medical professional, 50% of teens state that they “feel addicted” to their smartphone.
7. More Than Two-Thirds of Adults Are Irrationally Afraid of Losing Their Phone
68% of adult mobile device users are irrationally fearful of losing their phone, something that can be a sign of cell phone addiction.
8. Over Half of Mobile Device Users Worldwide Feel Anxious If Their Phone Isn’t Nearby
Overall, around 53% of mobile device users feel anxious if their phone isn’t close by.
9. 89% of College Students Experience Phantom Vibration
Among undergraduate college students, phantom vibrations – where the person believes they feel a mobile phone vibration indicating an incoming call, message, or notification, but their phone isn’t actually vibrating – are common. Overall, about 89% report experiencing the phenomenon.
[Source: Computers in Human Behavior]
10. Teens Who Spend 5 Hours on Their Phone Per Day Are Nearly Twice as Likely to Have Depression Symptoms
Among teens, those that spend 5 hours per day on their smartphone, on average, are almost twice as likely to have depression symptoms when compared to peers who use their devices less.
[Source: APA PsycNet]
11. Almost 20% of Young Adults Have Used a Smartphone During Sex
Among adults aged 18 to 34, 20% have used their smartphone during sex.
For more key stats, see our article on social media addiction statistics.
Phone Usage While Driving Statistics
12. 80% of Cell Phone Owners Use Their Device While Driving
Overall, 80% of cell phone owners use their device in some form or fashion while driving. This can include voice calls, GPS functions, text messaging, or any other kind of activity, legal or otherwise.
13. 14% of Fatal Vehicle Crashes Involve Cell Phone Use
Overall, 14% of vehicle crashes with at least one fatality involve cell phone use. The cell phone user may or may not have been the fatality, though they played a role in the crash.
[Source: The Zebra]
14. Teen Drivers are 8 Times More Likely to Crash or Have a Near-Miss When Driving and Dialing a Phone
When teen drivers are dialing a phone while behind the wheel, they are eight times more likely to either crash of have a near-miss while driving. Even experienced drivers are at a higher risk of a crash or near-miss when dialing, being twice as likely to be involved in one of those events.
[Source: National Institute of Health]
15. Texting and Driving is Banned in 48 States
Forty-eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, have laws banning texting while driving. The bans are universal, unlike some cell phone use driving laws that focus on specific age groups.
16. 25 States Ban Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving
In 25 states, as well as the District of Columbia, holding your cell phone in your hand while driving is illegal, regardless of why it’s being used.
17. In 36 States, Novice or Teen Drivers Aren’t Allowed to Use Mobile Devices While Driving, Period
Thirty-six states, as well as the District of Columbia, have laws on the books that ban inexperienced or teen drivers from using a mobile device while driving, no matter the purpose. While the laws do vary, this can include drivers who have learner’s permits instead of regular licenses, regardless of that person’s age.
Cell Phone Usage and Sleep Statistics
18. 45% of Teens Check Their Device After Going to Bed
Overall, around 45% of teenagers check their smartphones after going to bed. And social media is the #1 thing keeping them up at night: 94% of these teens are using social media apps after bedtime.
19. 71% of American Smartphone Users Sleep with Their Device Within Arm’s Reach
Along three-quarters of American smartphone owners sleep with their device within arm’s reach. This can include having the device with them in bed or positions on a nearby nightstand.
20. 3% of Smartphone Users Sleep with the Device Physically in Their Hand
While 71% of Americans sleep with their phone close, 3% actually keep their smartphone in their hand while they snooze.
21. 21% of Adults Check Their Phone in the Middle of the Night
More than one in five adults reported that they wake up in the middle of the night to check their phone. Hopefully whatever they find is worth getting up for.
[Source: Sleep Foundation]
22. More Than Half of Millennials Wake Up and Check Their Phone Once or More During the Night
53% of Millennials admit to waking up and checking their phone at least once during the night.
Cell Phone Calling Statistics
23. The Average Mobile Phone User Makes and Receives 178 Calls Per Month
Each month, the average user makes and receives 178 calls on their mobile phone. Of those, 93 of the calls are received and 85 are made, on average.
24. Americans Answer Just 48% of the Phone Calls Received on Mobile Devices
Possibly due to the rise in scam robocalls, Americans answer just 48% of the calls that come into their mobile devices.
25. On Average, Phone Calls with a Person on a User’s Contact List Last Over 5 Minutes
When a person receives a call from a number in their contact list, the calls last, on average, 5 minutes and 9 seconds. Comparatively, calls from businesses that aren’t in contact lists last 2 minutes and 53 seconds, unidentified caller calls last 31 seconds, and spam calls last just 12 seconds.
Cell Phone Texting Statistics
26. More Than 26 Billion Texts Are Sent Daily in the U.S.
Overall, Americans send about 781 billion texts every month. That translates to 26 billion a day.
[Source: Text Request]
27. Text Messages Have a Near 100% Read Rate
Overall, text messages are read just shy of 100% of the time.
28. 50% of Text Messages Are Read Within 3 Minutes
Not only are most texts read, but 50% of them are read within 3 minutes of the message being received. A total of 78% are usually read within 10 minutes, and nearly all are checked within one hour.
Smartphone App Usage Statistics
29. Smartphone Users Spend an Average of 4.2 Hours Per Day Using Apps
On average, mobile device users spend a little more than 25% of their waking hours using smartphone apps, clocking in about 4.2 hours of use each day. That’s a 30% increase in just two years.
[Source: Tech Crunch]
30. With 850 Million Downloads Worldwide, TikTok was the Most Downloaded App of 2020
TikTok reached new heights of popularity in 2020. Overall, it was downloaded about 850 million times in 2020 alone, making it the most downloaded app in the world.
31. In 2020, the Average iPhone User Spent $70+ on Mobile Games
Whether through app purchases or in-game microtransactions, on average, iPhone users spent over $70 on mobile games during 2020. That’s up from an average of $54 in 2019.
[Source: Screen Rant]
32. Users Completed 204 Billion App Downloads in One Year
In 2019, the approximate total of all worldwide app downloads came in at 204 billion. That was a 6% increase over the year prior.
[Source: Tech Crunch]
33. 89.5% of U.S. Smartphone Users Use Social Media Apps
When it comes to penetration, social media apps are the leaders in the United States, with 89.5% of smartphone users spending time in at least one of them. Not far behind is chat and messenger apps, coming in at 81.5%. Entertainment and video was third with 71.8%.
Mobile Device Statistics
34. Approximately 46.5% of the World’s Population Own a Smartphone
In 2020, smartphone penetration across the world reached new heights. Overall, about 46.5% of the world’s population owns one.
35. About 6.95 Billion People Own a Mobile Device Globally
Worldwide, approximately 6.95 billion people own some type of mobile device, whether smartphone or traditional cell phone. By 2024, that number could reach 7.41 billion.
36. By 2025, 72% of Global Internet Users Will Access the Web Solely Via Smartphone
A recent study found that roughly 3.7 billion people worldwide would access the web exclusively through their smartphone. By comparison, only 1.3 billion people will use both smartphones and personal computers to access the internet.
37. About 1.38 Billion Smartphones Were Sold Worldwide in 2020
During 2020, around 1.38 billion smartphones were sold worldwide. While that number is large, it’s actually lower than the total sales for every year since 2014. For example, in 2018, the highest year on record, about 1.56 billion were sold.
38. In 2020, There Were 294+ Million Smartphone Users in the U.S.
Overall, smartphone use in the United States continues to be on the rise. In 2020, there were approximately 294.15 million users across the country.
39. There Will be 311+ Million Smartphone Users in the U.S. by 2025
Estimates suggest that, by the year 2025, there will be approximately 311.53 million smartphone users in the United States alone. With 2020 having around 294.15 million users, that’s an increase of 17.38 million in just five years.
40. 97% of American Adults Own Some Type of Cell Phone
Between smartphones and traditional cell phones, 97% of American adults have a cellular-connected device. Overall, about 85% own smartphones today, a dramatic increase from the 35% that owned a smartphone in 2011. That makes smartphones the #1 computing device, with personal computers coming in second at 77% adoption.
[Source: Pew Research]
41. Nearly 100% of 18 to 49 Year Olds in the U.S. Report Having Cell Phone
Of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49, practically 100% own a cellular-connected device. For users between 18 and 29, 96% have a smartphone. For the 30 to 49 year old crowd, 95% have a smartphone.
[Source: Pew Research]
42. Hispanic-American Adults Most Likely to Own a Cell Phone, with Near 100% Ownership
Among various demographic groups, Hispanic-Americans are most likely to have a cellular device of some kind, reporting ownership levels near 100%. In comparison, 99% of Black Americans own a cellular device, and 97% of White Americans do.
[Source: Pew Research]
43. Around 45% of 10 to 12-Year-Old Children in the U.S. Have a Smartphone
Approximately 45% of 10 to 12 years olds in the United States have their own smartphone with a service plan. This doesn’t include children in that age range who have access to Wi-Fi only devices.
[Source: Nationwide Children’s]
44. iPhone Users Unlock Their Device 80 Times Per Day
On average, an iPhone is unlocked a total of 80 times every day. If a person is awake for 16 hours per day, that works out to about one unlock every 12 minutes.
[Source: Business Insider]
Overall, the statistics above range from eye-catching to downright stunning. The data gives people some startling insights about how cell phones have impacted our lives, our actions, and even the world.
While cell phones are certainly not going anywhere, the cell phone usage statistics above could indicate that rethinking how we make use of the devices is wise. That way, we can remain safe, maintain relationships, and avoid cell phone addiction.