12/20: At What Age Should Children Have Cell Phones?

If the youngster in your life is begging you for a cell phone this holiday season, try this one on for size.  The average age Americans believe is appropriate for a child to acquire his or her first cell phone is approximately 14 years old.



Regardless of age, region, gender, or whether one has children or not, there is consensus on this question.

A plurality of U.S. adults — 43% — think 15 to 18 years old is the appropriate age for a child to begin carrying a cell phone.

Table: Age of First Cell Phone (Average)
Table: Age of First Cell Phone

Marist Poll Methodology