How old should children be before parents give them mobile phones?

Respondents to the Center’s Digital Future Survey have given fairly consistent answers to this question over the years. When we first asked this in 2012, respondents (everyone taking the survey age 12 and above) answered that, on average, 13.1 years was the appropriate age. In our 2018 survey, the proper age to receive a mobile phone averaged 12.8 years.

With increasing evidence and concern that mobile phones might be detrimental to one’s psychological health, including from Silicon Valley itself, it will be interesting to see if the perceived suitable age starts creeping upward.


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June 10, 2019