As a follow-up to my “Generations” post about age, I thought I’d link to the following report.
PewResearchCenter has a report out on teens (age 12-17) and cell phone use (“More and More Teens on Cell Phones“). In terms of overall use they found:
The Pew Internet Project first began surveying teenagers about their mobile phones in its 2004 Teens and Parents project, when a survey showed that 45% of teens had a cell phone. Since that time, mobile phone use has climbed steadily among teens ages 12 to 17 — to 63% in fall of 2006 and to 71% in early 2008.
This 71% figure compares to 77% for all adults and 88% for parents. Looking at how the percentage varies among those teens they present the following graph:
So when my 12-year-old daughter tells me that most of her friends have cell phones, she is not far off (51% of 12-year-olds now do, up from 18% in 2004).
I also remember having a discussion in class last year about cell phones and hearing a certain resentment among older siblings that their younger brother/sister got a phone earlier than did they (something also supported by these data).
In addition to age, the report also shows use variation by income, race/ethnicity, and gender.
The full report, Teens and Mobile Phones Over the Past Five Years: Pew Internet Looks Back, [pdf] is also available online.