Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Indicator 5.b.1: Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex

Percent of US females ages 3 and older who use an Internet-connected mobile telephone


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This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from US statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from US statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other US-specific metadata information.

Actual indicator available Proportion of individuals who use an Internet-connected mobile telephone, by sex
Actual indicator available - description Proportion of individuals who use an Internet-connected mobile telephone, by sex, age 3 and over
Date of national source publication October 2016
Method of computation This indicator is calculated by dividing the total number of in-scope individuals who own a mobile phone by the total number of in-scope individuals.
Periodicity Biennial
Scheduled update by national source
U.S. method of computation Data are derived from the Computer and Internet Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics jointly sponsor the CPS, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration sponsors the supplement. Data are collected by the Census Bureau. Individuals using a mobile telephone: Persons age 3 and over who use an Internet-connected mobile telephone. Metadata sources:
Comments and limitations The 2011 and 2013 supplements directly asked whether individuals use a cellular phone or smartphone to access the Internet. The 2015 estimate represents those who 1) use a mobile phone, 2) use the Internet from any location, and 3) live in a household where someone accesses a mobile Internet service or data plan. Data from this source are not available prior to 2011. The next CPS Computer and Internet Use Supplement is scheduled for 2017-11.
Date metadata updated 2017-10-01
Disaggregation geography Overall proportion available at national and state levels
Unit of measurement Proportion
Disaggregation categories Overall proportion available by age group, employment status, income, education, sex, race and Hispanic origin, disability status, metropolitan status, and whether school-aged child in household
International and national references NA
Time period The 2015 questionnaire asked about Internet and device use during the past 6 months. Earlier questionnaires did not specify a reference period.
Scheduled update by SDG team

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex
Target name Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.
Global indicator description This indicator is defined as the 'proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex'. An individual owns a mobile cellular phone if he/she has a mobile cellular phone device with at least one active SIM card for personal use. Mobile cellular phones supplied by employers that can be used for personal reasons (to make personal calls, access the Internet, etc.) are included. Individuals who have only active SIM card(s) and not a mobile phone device are excluded. Individuals who have a mobile phone for personal use that is not registered under his/her name are also included. An active SIM card is a SIM card that has been used in the last three months. A mobile (cellular) telephone refers to a portable telephone subscribing to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to the PSTN. This includes analogue and digital cellular systems and technologies such as IMT-2000 (3G) and IMT-Advanced. Users of both postpaid subscriptions and prepaid accounts are included. Countries can collect data on this indicator through national household surveys.
UN designated tier 1
UN custodial agency ITU
Link to UN metadata Link opens in a new window
Organisation U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey Computer and Internet Use Supplements
Agency Staff Name Jamie Lewis
Agency Survey Dataset U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey Computer and Internet Use Supplements
Notes Web source: NTIA Digital Nation Data Explorer
Link to data source

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