How Much Time Does the Average American Spend on Their Phone - Featured Image

How Much Time Does the Average American Spend on Their Phone?

Cell phones have become one of the most useful technological advances in recent decades. It’s now quite rare to come across someone who doesn’t have a smartphone! 

In fact, they’ve become an essential part of our lives. But how much is too much? With many people resolving to cut back on their phone use in 2020, we need to understand the truth about our phone use. 

So, let’s find out how much time does the average American spend on their phone and other useful stats and facts.

Stunning Screen Time Stats for Americans (Editor’s Choice)

  • There are 257.3 million smartphone users in the United States.
  • That’s the equivalent of 69.6% of the population.
  • The most popular smartphone brand in the US is Apple (46%), followed by Samsung (30%).
  • In the US, the average smartphone user spends 3 hours and 10 minutes a day on their smartphone.
  • 90% of the average screen time is spent using apps. 
  • US consumers check their phones 52x a day.

Americans Phone Usage Statistics

1. Americans spend most of their waking hours looking at a screen.


The 2019 forecast for the average screen time per day for Americans was 12 hours and 9 minutes a day. This is a slight increase on 2018’s screen time stats of 12 hours, 8 minutes (just one minute less), and the figure is likely to got up again in 2020.

2. Americans spend 3 hours and 10 minutes a day using their smartphones.


Phones are one of the biggest sources of screen time. US smartphone users spend just over three hours looking at their phones each day. What’s more, this figure is likely to increase, while time spent using other devices (tablets, TVs, etc.) looks set to decrease.

3. Millennials spend 5.7 hours using their smartphones.

(Provision Living)

In case you were wondering:

“How much time do millennials spend on phones?”

You now have your answer.

Millennials are among the biggest smartphone users. American Millennials phone usage stats show that they spend 5.7 hours on average using their phones a day. Baby Boomers spend 5 hours a day on average on their phones. With Apple now having a function to track individual screen time, more people could be helped to cut down on their smartphone use.

4. Teenagers spend more than 7 hours using screens for entertainment.

(ABC News

Teenagers spend an average of 7 hours 22 minutes a day using screens, a figure which doesn’t include their homework. Tweens (those ages 8-12), meanwhile, spend 4 hours and 44 minutes in front of screens a day. These age groups spend significantly more time using their phones than reading a book.

5. Smartphone use has overtaken TV time. 


In 2019, smartphone use was predicted to overtake TV time for the first time. People are also using their tablets less than before, showing a growing trend for how Americans access media.

How Many Americans Have Smartphones

What is the percentage of Americans with smartphones? 

Let’s find out.

6. Around 69.6% of Americans have a smartphone. 


When answering the question of how much time does the average American spend on their phone, we need to highlight that there are around 257.3 million smartphones in the US. This figure has been steadily increasing over the years, making the US one of the biggest markets for smartphones.

At what age do they start using phones?

7. 53% of children now own a smartphone by the age of 11.


Among teenagers, the number is even higher, at 84%. Kids use their phones for all kinds of things, including watching videos, getting inspiration from Pinterest, as well as using apps to create their own kinds of content. 

So, how is smartphone penetration growing?

8. By 2021, smartphone penetration will be 72.7%.


The figure has skyrocketed during the last decade. In 2010, it stood at a mere 20.2%,  showing just how much things can change over the course of a few years!

How Are Phones Used by Americans?

When it comes to phone usage over the years, it’s important to keep in mind that the average adult consumes five times more information than they did 50 years ago. 

Children’s habits have also changed, with concerns about how what they perceive as important information is having a direct impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

So, how much time does the average American spend on the internet?

9. The average American now spends 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.

(The Next Web)

That’s a lot considering many people don’t even sleep for 6 hours or have 30 minutes to spare for exercise! And much of that time is spent browsing the likes of Facebook and Instagram.

So, how much time do Americans spend on social media?

10. The average person in America spends 144 minutes per day on social media.


Using social media is one of the most popular activities carried out on smartphones.  Time spent by Americans on social media shows an increase of one hour a day since 2012. Of this time, 58 minutes is spent on Facebook. That’s a long time spent finding out all about your neighbor’s dog or reading through everyone’s engagement/pregnancy/vacation announcements.

And then there’s texting…

Speaking of which:

How many texts are sent every day?

11. The average person sends and receives 32 texts a day.

(Text Request)

But this number varies massively depending on age.

Check this out:

Young people aged 18-24 send and receive 128 text messages per day, while the over 55s send and receive around 16 messages a day. This doesn’t include the messages sent through Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and other platforms, so the figure could actually be much higher (if those platforms finally chose to share that data!).

12. Americans spend 90% of their time with their phones using apps.


Social media and digital video make up most of this usage. However, the gap between app and mobile web browsing will become narrower as businesses look to create a more app-like experience from their mobile web pages.

13. 90% of Americans use their phones to make phone calls. 

(NBC News)

And while they say it’s good to talk, when it comes to time spent on phone screen, research shows that people send five times as many texts as they make calls each day. Are the days of personal chit-chat set to end?

14. 24 to 77% of email opens come from mobile phones. 

(Email Monday)

People’s mobile email habits vary a lot, with many of us checking emails on our phones first before replying from another device. Meanwhile, work email is 40% less likely to be checked on a smartphone than personal email, showing not everyone is a workaholic after all!

Smartphone Use Around the World

How much time does the average person spend on their phone around the world?

Here’s the deal:

15. 29% of global users spend 3-5 hours on their phones every day.


However, 26% of people globally spend more than 7 hours each day on their phones. Clearly, it’s not just Americans who like staring at their phones!

16. According to screen time statistics worldwide, Americans have the 12th highest amount of daily screen time.

(Business Fibre)

The countries with the highest include the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, and Thailand, while the countries with the lowest include France, the Netherlands, Germany, and, surprisingly, China and Japan. If screen time is giving you a headache, perhaps it’s time to move to one of these countries?

17. The average time spent on social media worldwide is 136 minutes per day. 

(Statista / The Motley Fool)

Once again, the Philippines is the country that spends the most time using social media. While Facebook is cagey about how people use the app, it’s estimated that people spend 950 million hours on Facebook each day, the equivalent of 41 minutes per user.

Global Screen Time Demographics

18. In Japan, 69% of men own a smartphone, compared to 63% of women.

(Pew Research)

While phone use is almost equal between men and women in many countries, there are still gender gaps in terms of phone ownership. In some countries like India, the rate is much higher, with men 34% more likely to own a smartphone than women (15%). 

19. Women are more likely to use their phones to go on social media.


The stats around how men and women use mobile apps are fascinating. In fact, 54% of women follow photo and video content compared to 39% of men. Interestingly, women are more likely to carry out brand investigation and follow the brands they use than men – although men love to look for a discount!

Smartphone Addiction Stats

While there is little data around the average time spent on iPhone and Android phones, both brands are wising up to the issue of phone addiction. Both brands have recently introduced features that help you check on your screen time, as well as set a limit on it. 

What’s more:

You can even set a timer to stop you from browsing individual apps for too long! Your phone can also send you weekly updates to show how your screen time compared to the previous week. Apple’s app is simply called Screen Time, while Google’s is known as Digital Wellbeing.

20. Americans pick up their phones more than 52x a day.


That’s one of the more worrying facts when it comes to how much time does the average American spend on their phone. If you can’t go for a stretch of time without checking your phone, perhaps it’s time to think about ways of combating phone addiction.


If you’re concerned about how many hours you spend on your phone each day, there are things you can do about it. Screen time limits and using either do not disturb or airplane mode after a certain time could help you develop better habits. By spending time doing other activities, you can soon curb your phone addiction.

For all of the great advances phones have brought, they are also contributing to a number of issues, including mental health and wellbeing. 

And now that we know how much time does the average American spend on their phone:

Isn’t it time to form some better habits and start spending less time on our phones and more time in the real world?



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