October 29, 2015

Technology Device Ownership: 2015

Methods

Margin of ErrorThe analysis in this report is based on two Pew Research Center surveys. One survey was conducted March 17 through April 12, 2015, among a national sample of 1,907 adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. 672 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,235 were interviewed on a cellphone, including 730 who had no landline telephone. The full survey included interviews with respondents ages 16 and 17; the 1,907 respondents in this analysis include only those 18 and older. The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The smartphone ownership data are based on telephone interviews conducted June 10 through July 12, 2015, among a national sample of 2,001 adults, ages 18 years and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. 701 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,300 were interviewed on a cellphone, including 709 who had no landline telephone.

A combination of landline and cellphone random-digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who was at home. Interviews in the cellphone sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that person was 16 years of age or older.

 Margin of Error for Smartphone Data The combined landline and cellphone samples are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and nativity, and region to parameters from the 2013 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and population density to parameters from the Decennial Census. The sample also is weighted to match current patterns of telephone status (landline only, cellphone only or both landline and cellphone), based on extrapolations from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cellphones have a greater probability of being included in the combined sample and adjusts for household size among respondents with a landline phone. The margins of error reported and statistical tests of significance are adjusted to account for the survey’s design effect, a measure of how much efficiency is lost from the weighting procedures.

These tables show the unweighted sample sizes and the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:

In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Pew Research Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder.