How many people are addicted to their phones? 2024

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Smartphone addiction is referred to by various terms, such as "smartphone dependence", "problematic smartphone use,” and “nomophobia” (no mobile phone phobia). Problematic smartphone use is marked by six key factors: an excessive focus on using a smartphone, mood alterations linked to its use, gradually increasing time spent on the device, distress when unable to use the device, personal and social problems stemming from its use and falling back into overuse after trying to cut down.

Smartphone addiction has been linked to various physical problems such as eye strain, neck and back pain, and disrupted sleep, as well as mental health problems, including mood disorders, loneliness and depression.

Key insights

Smartphone addiction can lead to various negative effects, including depression, anxiety, stress, reduced ability to concentrate and diminished sleep quality.

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ConsumerAffairs research reports that 97% of Americans own a mobile phone, and approximately 90% have a smartphone.

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Projections indicate that by 2040, the number of smartphone users in the U.S. will exceed 364 million.

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Estimates indicate that more than 95% of teens aged 13 to 17 have access to a cell phone.

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How many Americans own smartphones?

An estimated 97% of Americans (330.8 million people) own a mobile phone, with approximately 90% having a smartphone. Projections indicate that by 2040, the number of smartphone users in the U.S. will exceed 364 million.

According to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey, the percentage of U.S. adults who own a smartphone, broken down by age, is as follows:

  • Ages 18-29: 97%
  • Ages 30-49: 97%
  • Ages 50-64: 89%
  • Ages 65+: 76%

Additionally, estimates show that over 95% of teenagers between 13 and 17 years old have access to a cell phone, and that by age 11, 53% of U.S. children own a smartphone.

The Pew Research Center also conducted a survey on smartphone dependency. In 2023, 15% of U.S. adults exclusively used their smartphones for internet access, due to owning a smartphone but lacking a home broadband service. The age-based breakdown of the statistics is as follows:

  • Ages 18-29: 20%
  • Ages 30-49: 11%
  • Ages 50-64: 14%
  • Ages 65+: 16%

Signs of smartphone addiction

Behaviors that might suggest a cell phone addiction include:

  • Spending a significant amount of time aimlessly scrolling through apps or surfing the web on your phone.
  • Hiding how often you use your smartphone or lying about the amount of time you spend on it.
  • Experiencing anxiety or restlessness when unable to access your phone. Feeling a sense of dread or panic if you forget your smartphone at home, its battery dies or its operating system fails.
  • Having difficulty resisting the urge to check your phone as soon as you receive a notification.
  • Experiencing "fear of missing out" (FOMO) — feeling that you might miss important information if you don't regularly check your phone.
  • Both at work and at home, your phone usage has disrupted your productivity.
  • Spending so much time on your phone that it leads to isolation from family and friends and negatively affects your social life.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone.
  • Experiencing phantom vibrations, where you believe your phone has vibrated, but upon checking, you find no new messages or updates.

Effects of smartphone addiction

Smartphone addiction can lead to various negative effects, including:

  • Increased feelings of loneliness and depression, as immersing oneself online might seem like a temporary escape but can ultimately worsen these feelings.
  • Heightened anxiety, causing increased nervousness and poorer performance on tasks.
  • Elevated stress levels, as the constant pressure to remain connected can potentially result in burnout.
  • Aggravated attention deficit disorders, as the continuous influx of messages and information from a smartphone can overwhelm the brain and hinder the ability to maintain focus on a single task for an extended period.
  • Reduced ability to concentrate and think deeply or creatively, as constant notifications from a smartphone distract from important tasks, and disrupt quiet moments essential for creativity and problem-solving.
  • Diminished sleep quality, which in turn can impact memory and cognitive and learning abilities.

In addition, musculoskeletal problems are common physical conditions associated with smartphone addiction. Excessive smartphone use often leads to problems in the fingers, neck, back and shoulders. Extended periods of smartphone usage can result in poor posture, which can lead to pain and injuries in the cervical spine. Furthermore, texting and chatting on smartphones are considered risk factors for De Quervain's tenosynovitis, a condition marked by pain in the wrist, particularly on the thumb side.

Smartphone addiction and sleep

One of the adverse effects of smartphone addiction is poor sleep quality, including trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Bringing phones to bed can further exacerbate sleep issues. Smartphone addicts often struggle to limit their use, even in bed, possibly due to fear of missing out on notifications. Additionally, the blue light emitted by smartphones can disrupt circadian rhythms, negatively impacting sleep patterns. This disruption can lead to delayed sleep onset and a reduction in total sleep time.


How many times per day do Americans check their cell phones?

According to a 2023 survey, on average U.S. adults check their cell phones 144 times per day.

How many people are addicted to their cell phones?

In 2023, 57% of U.S. adults considered themselves “addicted” to their cell phones.

What proportion of Americans use only their smartphones to access the internet?

It is estimated that 15% of U.S. adults solely relied on their smartphones for internet access in 2023, as they owned a smartphone but did not have home broadband service.

What are the main physical problems related to smartphone addiction?

Musculoskeletal pain and insomnia are the two primary physical issues associated with smartphone addiction.


  1. Sohn, S. et al. “The Association Between Smartphone Addiction and Sleep: A UK Cross-Sectional Study of Young Adults.” Frontiers in Psychiatry. Evaluated Mar. 14, 2024.Link Here
  2. Csibi, S. et al. “Analysis of Problematic Smartphone Use Across Different Age Groups within the ‘Components Model of Addiction’.” International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. Evaluated Mar. 14, 2024.Link Here
  3. Harter, H. “Cell Phone Usage – How Much is Too Much?.” University of Rochester Medical Center. Evaluated Mar. 15, 2024.Link Here
  4. Richter, A. et al. “Youth Perspectives on the Recommended Age of Mobile Phone Adoption: Survey Study.” JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting. Evaluated Mar. 17, 2024.Link Here
  5. Pew Research Center. “Mobile Fact Sheet; Fact Sheets: Tech Adoption Trends.” Pew Research Center. Evaluated Mar. 17, 2024.Link Here
  6. Robinson, L. et al. “Smartphone and Internet Addiction.” Evaluated Mar. 17, 2024.Link Here
  7. Ratan, Z. et al. “Smartphone Addiction and Associated Health Outcomes in Adult Populations: A Systematic Review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Evaluated Mar. 17, 2024.Link Here


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