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Adults Texting More, but Teens Still Rule

September 9, 2010
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Texting among US adults has increased substantially over the past year, but still does not approach the magnitude of texting activity among teens: 72% of adult cell-phone owners send and receive text messages now, up from the 65% who did so in September 2009, whereas 87% of teen cell-phone owners exchange text messages on a typical day, according to a study by Pew Research.

Moreover, teens exchange 5 times more texts messages than adults: Surveyed teen cell-phone owners age 12-17 send and receive 50 messages per day on average, compared with adult cell-phone owners age 18+ who send and receive 10 messages a day.

Breaking down texting by message volume, 51% of adult texters send from 1 to 10 texts a day, whereas just 22% of teens send that many messages daily.

Just 15% of adult texters send 51+ text messages daily, compared with 47% of teen texters who do so.


Below, other findings from the study Cell Phones and American Adults, issued by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism, which explores texting and calling behavior among adult and teen cell-phone owners.

Adults: Heavy Texters Are Heavy Callers

Heavy texters—adults who send and receive more than 50 texts day—also tend to be heavy users of voice calling: 40% make over 20 calls a day. Light texters, those who exchange 1 to 10 texts a day, do not make up for less texting by calling more: 46% make fewer than six calls per day.


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