5/17/2010 3:00:00 PM
Hi, my name is E.J., and my household is a nightmare for survey research firms. We are a cell phone-only household. Even worse, I maintain the same cell phone number which I first received in college which means that I maintain an area code which is at least two household moves ago.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports
that I am like a quarter of Americans that no longer maintain a landline phone, choosing to have cell phones only. Furthermore, they found that one in seven homes have a landline but rarely use it. It used to be that random digit dialing
was the best way to get a nationally representative sample of households so that survey firms could talk to small samples of people and extrapolate to large populations of people. But these continuing trends away from landlines (particularly for younger households) makes that really a challenge. I looked around a bit to see if I could find a similar study for businesses (if you know of one, let me know!) but all I found was a 2004 NFIB study
which showed "seventy-eight percent of small-business owners use a cell phone for business purposes." I suspect that almost all self-employed businesses now predominently use cell service more than landlines, while it will be less of an issue for brick-and-mortar stores.
If you want to follow this story more, then AAPOR
or the JSM
are likely to be the most helpful places to look for additional guidance.
Related previous posts: The Impact of Cell Phones on Entrepreneurship Surveys
, Exploring Mode Effects in Establishment Surveys
: I saw a course listing
at the Joint Program on Survey Methodology on this issue for March 23, 2011.