How Many Friends Does the Average Person Have?

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How Many Friends Does the Average Person Have?


According to a 2004 Gallup poll, Americans have an average of 8-9 close friends. More specifically:

  • 2% have no close friends
  • 14% have 1-2 close friends
  • 39% have 3-5 close friends
  • 18% have 6-9 close friends
  • 27% have 10 or more friends

According to anthropologist Robin Dunbar, human brains have a limit on how many meaningful relationships they can keep track of. Dunbar says most people can have up to:

  • 5 intimate bonds: spouses, best friends, and so on
  • 15 close friends: people you trust and spend time with regularly
  • 50 friends: people you would invite to a personal event like a wedding or dinner
  • 150 casual friends: people you would invite to a big party

A recent survey seems to support Dunbar’s theory. Researchers found the average Facebook user

  • Has 155 friends on the platform
  • Only considers 43 contacts to be genuine friends
  • Would only trust 4 of their Facebook friends in a crisis


  1. Carroll, J. (2004, March 5). Americans satisfied with number of friends, closeness of friendships. Gallup News Service. Retrieved from
  2. Knapton, S. (2016, January 20) Facebook users have 155 friends—but would trust just four in a crisis. The Telegraph. Retrieved from
  3. Konnikova, M. (2014, October 7). The Limits of Friendship. The New Yorker. Retrieved from

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