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Many California Residents Unlisted

Californians like their privacy.

Nearly half of the state´s residents choose not to be listed in the phone book, putting California third behind Nevada and Arizona for numbers of people who are intentionally difficult to reach.

New England residents, by contrast, are an open book — 93 percent in Vermont are listed, 89 percent in Maine and 85 percent in New Hampshire.

The numbers were compiled by Survey Sampling International, a Connecticut-based polling company that provided the unlisted rates to the San Jose Mercury News.

Pollsters say there´s no single explanation for California´s high rate of people wishing to keep their numbers private, but one factor may be the cheaper cost — 14 cents a month in California.

Nationwide, slightly more than a third of Americans are unlisted.