In 2004, fewer than half of all American teenagers ages 12 to 17 (45%) owned a cell phone, far fewer than the 65% of adults who owned a cell phone. But rapid growth among teen ownership has closed the divide. In 2006, 63% of teens owned a cell phone, and last year that number rose to 71%, almost on par with adult ownership (77%). However, moms and dads still have a slight advantage over their teenagers; about nine-in-ten parents (88%) own a cell phone or other mobile device. Though most now own a cell phone, teens remain tied to landline phones. Fully 88% of teens say they talk to friends on landline phones at least occasionally. Contacting a friend with a cell phone is less common. Two-thirds of teens say they occasionally talk to friends on their cell phone, and 58% occasionally send text messages. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.