Nielsen Company Data Outlines Cell Phone Usage Across the United States

Data shows African Americans and Southerners talk and text the most.

ByABC News
August 24, 2010, 11:16 AM

Aug. 24, 2010— -- Want some insight into American life in 2010? Then just listen closely to the cell phones.

Those buzzing, beeping, ever-present devices have a lot to say about modern society, according to new data released by the Nielsen company. Every month, the data-tracking firm goes through phone bills from 60,000 people all over the country, breaking down cell phone and text usage by gender, race, age, and even region, with some interesting findings.

Watch "World News with Diane Sawyer" tonight on your ABC station.

"Pretty much everyone has a cell phone these days," said Jonathan Carson, CEO of Telecom for Nielsen. "We're reaching a point where we'll have more than 100 percent penetration because people carry multiple devices."

According to the data, women on the whole are bigger talkers and texters than men. On average, women use 22 percent more cell phone minutes than men, and they even text more, sending 154 more messages per month than the average American man.

Kids, of course, also use their mobile devices in different ways. Teens text more than any other group, sending a stunning average of 2,779 texts per month, which works out to about eight SMS messages for every waking hour. Text usage drops off steadily among older age groups, with senior citizens receiving an average of just 30 per month.

Texting has become such a mainstay for teens and children that their usage has even pushed increasing numbers of parents to adopt texting as a way to communicate with their kids.

"People start carrying mobile phones at younger and younger ages, and at this point, tweens -- people in the range of 12 to 14, more than half of them are actually now carrying mobile phones," said Carson.