United Kingdom

Without a telephone

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Just about all pensioners now have a telephone.

Why this indicator was originally chosen

Telephone access for older people is an important means of connection to the outside world, particularly to family and friends.  Furthermore, telephones are increasingly providing access to a range of services.  Most of the population believe that a telephone is now a necessity of modern life. 1

Definitions and data sources

The graph shows the proportion of pensioner households without a telephone.  Pensioner households are all those where the head of household is retired, in other words all those where the head of household is male and aged 65 or more plus all those where the head of the household is female and aged 60 or more.

The data source is the Living Costs and Food Survey (previously called the Expenditure and Food Survey and, before that, the Family Expenditure Survey).  The data from 2001/02 onwards uses weighted data, with unweighted data being used for earlier years.  The data relates to the United Kingdom.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The Living Costs and Food Survey is a well-established government survey, designed to be representative of the population as a whole but the survey sizes are rather small.

Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements

None directly relevant.

The numbers

Graph 1

1990 13%
1991 10%
1992 10%
1993 9%
1994/95 7%
1995/96 7%
1996/97 5%
1997/98 4%
1998/99 4%
1999/00 3%
2000/01 3%
2001/02 1%
2002/03 1%
2003/04 1%
2004/05 1%

1. From the Omnibus Survey in 2000, 71% of those survey believed that a telephone was a necessity. Gordon, D., et al., Poverty and social exclusion in Britain, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2000.