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More and more Americans are turning away from televisions

More and more Americans are turning away from televisions

Nearly double the percentage of households in the U.S. don’t own a TV compared to 10 years ago, showing more and more turning away from televisions.

A report from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows a growing trend among American households, and it’s one that seems to contradict one of the great American sterotypes. According to the report that surveyed 5,600 households, the percentage of households without a TV has doubled since 2009.

To be clear, there are still a lot of TVs in America, but more and more single family households are moving away from television. In 2015, the percentage of U.S. households without a set was 2.6-percent. That’s double what it was in 2009, and the number until recently remained between 1.2 and 1.3 percent since at least 1997.More and more Americans are turning away from televisions

In general, the total number of televisions in households is also going down. In 2015, 39-percent had three or more TVs, a decline from both 2005 and 2009, when it was 43 and 44-percent, respectively. The number of households with one or two TVs did climb a bit (probably as a direct result of people cutting down their TVs), but at 58-percent, it remains significantly lower than 20 years ago when 69-percent of households had one or two TVs.

The report goes on to show a few other interesting – albeit not even a little surprising – facts. To begin with, how many televisions a household owns is directly proportional to the average age of the people in that home. There is a diagonal line from people in their teens to people over 75, with each age group in between showing a spike in the number of TVs. The same is mostly true of TV peripherals like DVRs (although there is a slight decrease in that category for people over 75, but not a huge one).

More and more Americans are turning away from televisionsThe same is true of desktop computers. The older the household, the more likely they owned one or more desktops (again, with a slight downtick for the 75 and older crowd). On the other hand, the opposite was mostly true for smartphones. There was a slight increase in 45 to 54 years olds over 35 to 44 years olds, but for the most part the younger a household is, the more likely they have multiple smartphones. Tablets and Laptops were somewhat even across the board, although the 75 and over crowd own less of both than the rest.

There are a whole lot of reasons for these trends, of course. To begin with, there is less need for multiple TVs if you also have a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone. There are more entertainment options than ever before that go beyond traditional TV. While this is a much bigger (and loaded) topic, people today in general have less expendable cash than before, with millennials earning 20-percent less than the generation before them. In that kind of economy a TV is probably a low priority, and multiple TVs just seems indulgent.

With that income disparity not looking like it will change in the immediate future, the reduction of TVs in a household is likely to increase.



Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.