The Federal Communications Commission keeps thousands of pages of
records on Americans' phone usage, but does not track Caller ID
subscribership. However, Pew Research conducted a phone-use poll in
March. Using that data, we can estimate the current usage of caller
According to the Pew poll, (as reported on this Web site:
http://www.counterpunch.org/price09202004.html), 73% of black families
have caller ID versus 47% of white families. To put this in
perspective, let's take a quick look at the U.S. population:
According to the 2000 U.S. census, 75.1% of Americans are white and
12.3% are black. (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html)
That leaves 12.6% everything else.
If we assume that the 12.6% that are neither white nor black use
caller ID at a rate midway between that of blacks and whites, we come
up with an estimate of roughly 52% of the population using caller ID.
12.3% black X 73% likely to use caller ID = 9.2%.
75.1% white X 47% likely to use caller ID = 35.3%.
12.6% other X (73% + 47%)/2 likely to use caller ID = 7.6%.
Sum the percentages to get the percentage of the entire population to
use caller ID.
If you instead assume that the 12.6% other use caller ID at the same
rate as white Americans, your total population usages is just over
It does appear that the use of caller ID has increased in recent
years. In 2002, only 41% of consumers had caller ID, according to a
survey by the American Teleservices Association.
The South had the highest penetration rate at 48%, while the Northeast
was the lowest, at 33%.
The survey breaks down membership by age as well as by region.
Google search for:
"caller ID" telephone 2004 percentage subscribe
"caller ID" telephone association
Clarification of Answer by
01 Dec 2004 13:53 PST
Sorry I didn't get to the Louisiana part of the question. I was called
Louisiana has greater caller ID penetration because it has a higher
black population, the population with the highest use of caller ID.
Using the census data
(http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/22000.html), we see that
Louisiana's population is 63.9% white and 32.5% black, allowing for
just 3.6% other. Assuming the 3.6% who are neither black nor white are
60% likely to use caller ID (the average of the 73% for blacks and 47%
for whites), Louisiana's caller ID penetration is 55.9%.
Assuming the "others" use caller ID at the white rate, 47%, the
state's penetration is just under 55.5%.
Given the small proportion of nonblacks and nonwhites in Louisiana,
the assumption for usage for that population is relatively unimportant
in predicting the state's caller ID usage.