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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
- Carroll, J. (2004, March 5). Americans satisfied with number of friends, closeness of friendships. Gallup News Service. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2xNp05p
- 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
- Konnikova, M. (2014, October 7). The Limits of Friendship. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2hHO4BM
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