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Percentage of cell phone-only U.S. homes doubles

A new federal study says more than a quarter of homes in the United States now have only a wireless phone, and no "landline."

That percentage doubled in three years.

Among the findings of the survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics:

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-- More than one-in-four U.S. homes, or 26.6 percent, had only a wireless phone as of June 2010, up from 13.6 percent in 2007.

-- The percentage of wireless-only homes increased in every state, ranging from 35.2 percent in Arkansas to 12.8 percent in Rhode Island and New Jersey.

-- Rhode Island and New Jersey were the lowest at 12.8 percent of adults and children in cellular-only households. Next was Connecticut, at 13.6. New York was at 17 percent, and California at 18 percent.

-- By contrast, Arkansas had the highest concentration of people in cell-only households, at 35.2 percent. Next were Mississippi, at 35.1 percent, Texas at 32.5 percent, North Dakota, at 32.3 percent, Idaho at 31.7 percent, and Kentucky at 31.5 percent.

"There are really three factors at play here," personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich said on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning." "One is the affordability of cell phones. Folks with tight budgets are less likely to be able to carry a landline and a cell phone. That's regional, as well.

"But age is a big factor. Especially in the Northeast, where folks are older, they're less likely to have the cell phone.

"Forty-four percent of folks between the age of 18-and-30 are wireless only. That's a huge number. And a lot of young adults will never have a land line in their lives.

"Also, in terms of renters versus homeowners ... 47 percent of renters are wireless-only, (because) they're moving around. They're more mobile."

But is going wireless-only right for you? Ulrich says there are several important factors to consider beyond cost alone.

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