One U.S. home in 20 lacks a telephone, the Census Bureau reports.
A bureau analysis of 1990 Census data found 4.8 million households across the nation lacked telephones - 5.2 percent of all households.That was down from 11 million households without phones as recently as 1960, the agency said.
Most of the phoneless were renters, the bureau said, with men living alone least likely to have a phone.
Asian and Pacific Islander households were most likely to have phones - only 2 percent lacked them. Among white households, 4 percent lack phones, followed by 13 percent in black households and 23 percent for households of American Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts.
There were 12 percent of Hispanic households without phones. Hispanics can be of any race.
Among states, Mississippi had the highest phoneless rate at 12.6 percent of households followed by New Mexico, 12.4 percent; Arkansas, 10.9 percent; West Virginia, 10.3 percent, and Kentucky, 10.2 percent.
Massachusetts had the most phone-connected homes with only 2.1 percent lacking the instruments. Rounding out the top five were Minnesota at 2.4 percent, and Connecticut, Hawaii and Pennsylvania at 2.6 percent each.