Just 42% of Americans say a television set is a necessity. Far more (57%) consider a TV to be a luxury you could live without. Before the recession, far more emphasis was placed on the importance of TV; 64% called it a necessity in 2006. This solid rating was not an outlier; in the 1970s when a similar question was asked, two-thirds of Americans described a television set as a necessity. So more Americans are living life sans TV, right? Hardly. In 2009, the average home had more TVs than people — 2.86, according to a Nielsen report. In 2000, this figure was 2.43; in 1990, it was 2.0; and in 1975, it was 1.57. And Americans are increasingly not content with any old television. One-in-ten Americans say that a flat-screen television is a necessity of life, up from 5% who felt that way in 2006. Older Americans are more likely than young Americans to say a TV is a necessity, and older respondents are also more likely to see the necessity in cable service and flat-screen TVs. Read More
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