9-1-1 Statistics

As of August 2011, the United States has 6,138 primary and secondary PSAPs and 3,135 Counties which include parishes, independent cities, boroughs and Census areas. Based on NENA’s preliminary assessment of the most recent FCC quarterly filings:

  • 97.6% of 6,138 PSAPs have some Phase I
  • 95.9% of 6,138 PSAPs have some Phase II
  • 93.9% of 3,135 Counties have some Phase I
  • 91.4% of 3,135 Counties have some Phase II
  • 98.1% of Population have some Phase I
  • 97.4% of Population have some Phase II

The term `some’ means that some or all wireless carriers have implemented either Phase I or Phase II service in the County or the PSAPs. In order for any carrier to provide service, the County or PSAP must be capable of receiving the service.  In most cases, all carriers are implemented in a County or PSAP, but one or more may be in the process of completing the implementation.  

9-1-1 Call Volume:

An estimated 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. each year. According to the FCC, one-third are wireless calls; in many communities, it’s one-half or more of all 9-1-1 calls.

Population Covered: 99% (at least basic 9-1-1)

Counties/Parishes Covered: 96% (at least basic 9-1-1)

Basic 9-1-1:

Basic 9-1-1 means that when the three-digit number is dialed, a call taker/dispatcher in the local public safety answering point (PSAP), or 9-1-1 call center, answers the call. The emergency and its location are communicated by voice (or TTY) between the caller and the call taker. 

Enhanced 9-1-1:

In areas serviced by enhanced 9-1-1, the call is selectively routed to the proper PSAP for the caller’s location, and the PSAP has equipment and database information that display the caller’s phone number and address to the call taker. 93% of counties with 9-1-1 coverage have enhanced 9-1-1 for callers. The term “enhanced 9-1-1” is not synonymous with wireless 9-1-1.

Wireless Phase I:

When Phase I has been implemented, the call taker automatically receives the wireless phone number. This is important in the event the wireless phone call is dropped, and may allow PSAP employees to work with the wireless company to identify the wireless subscriber. Phase I also delivers the location of the cell tower handling the call. The call is routed to a PSAP based on cell site/sector information.

Wireless Phase II:

Phase II allows call takers to receive both the caller’s wireless phone number and their location information. The call is routed to a PSAP either based on cell site/sector information or on caller location information. 

9-1-1 Calls through VoIP:

Business and residential use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunications services is growing at a rapid pace. Methods to bring 9-1-1 calls into E9-1-1 systems have recently become available, and NENA is leading work to develop full E9-1-1 capability for VoIP-based services.

Next Generation Trends:

Estimates are that nearly 20% of all U.S. households currently rely on wireless as their primary service (having given up wireline service or chosen not to use it).  

December 2008 unless otherwise noted; all figures are for the United States only. While NENA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides, the Association makes no guarantee or warranty of the statistics and information provided herein. This survey represented 100% coverage of the U.S.