NEW YORK — Blacks talk twice as much as whites on their cell phones, and women talk and text more than men, according to an analysis of wireless bills by the Nielsen Co.
The media-tracking firm went through the phone bills of 60,000 people for one year to figure out that blacks talk an average of 1,331 minutes per month, compared with 647 minutes per month for whites.
Whites were the least talkative people in the study, which ended in May. Hispanics talked 826 minutes per month, and Asians and Pacific Islanders 692 minutes per month.
This isn't because blacks talk and whites text. Blacks text more too: 780 messages per month, compared with 566 for whites. Hispanics text almost as much as blacks, at 767 messages per month. Asians and Pacific Islanders text the least, at 384 per month.
One reason blacks talk more on cell phones may be that fewer of them have home phones, but this hardly explains the whole difference. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 25 percent of black adults had only cell phone service last year, compared with 21 percent for white adults.
Blacks make more use of other phone features, too. A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project last year found that blacks were a lot more likely to use the Internet from their phones. That finding might be party explained by their lagging adoption of home broadband.
Women talk 22 percent more than men: 856 minutes per month compared with 667. They also text 34 percent more.
The greater number of black and Hispanics in the South means that it's the most talkative area of the country. The area of heavy texting is less well defined, but it's generally more popular in the South and in the interior of the country.
Mississippi is unusual in that inhabitants are big on both texting and talking, something Nielsen believes may be due to its black population being relatively large and young – teenagers text a lot more than adults, of course.
The Nielsen panel of 60,000 households was weighted to match the Census. However, it looked only at households that got phone bills. People who have prepaid service generally don't get bills and make up about 20 percent of wireless subscribers.