Profile America: Birth of Cell Phones

Sunday, October 13. With the national median age being 38.2 years, only about half of the country’s population experienced life in what might strike young people as a bleak, dark and difficult age. Practically unimaginable today, there was a time when cell phones didn’t exist.

The Mobile Phone

The first modern cell phone was introduced on this date 36 years ago in Chicago. It was demonstrated in a call to Alexander Graham Bell’s grandson, in Berlin, Germany at the time.

The 1983 phone’s price was $3,995. In 1990, there were just over 5 million people in the country with cell phones. By 2000, that number was nearly 110 million.

Now, 96 percent of Americans have cell phones or smart phones.

Profile America is in its 23rd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online.

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