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How Many Friends Does the Average Person Have?

This is an interesting article I found on: www.goodtherapy.org

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How Many Friends Does the Average Person Have?

INFOGRAPHIC TEXT: 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

References:

  1. Carroll, J. (2004, March 5). Americans satisfied with number of friends, closeness of friendships. Gallup News Service. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2xNp05p
  2. Knapton, S. (2016, January 20) Facebook users have 155 friends—but would trust just four in a crisis. The Telegraph. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Kp8Cj4
  3. Konnikova, M. (2014, October 7). The Limits of Friendship. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2hHO4BM

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