Human motivations vary from one psychological type to the other, but how often can these types be found in the general population? Many people are curious about which personality types are more common (or rare) than others – and want to know where their type falls on that scale. Below, you will find the estimated frequencies of each of the personality types (sorted per temperament) by total population and by gender.
How rare or common are each of the 16 different personality types? Where do you fall on the scale? Does gender change the frequency of personality types? You will find the results that answer these questions on this page.
- The Percentages of the 16 Personalities
The Percentages of the 16 Personalities
It should come as no surprise that the data on how 16 Briggs personality types are distributed is already well established. It is derived from data from the 16 Personalities Foundation themselves and, in the following article, you will see the curated statistics regarding each type in the United States’ population. For ease of reading, each batch of four personality types is categorized according to the temperament it belongs under. The discovery that these “batches” share similarities among each other, based on their personality preference, can be attributed to David Keirsey, Ph.D, a renowned clinical psychologist, author and professor at California State University, Fullerton.
Before we begin, as a reminder, here are what the personality type letters stand for:
- Extraversion vs. Introversion (E and I)
- Sensing vs. Intuition (S and N)
- Thinking vs. Feeling (T and F)
- Judging vs. Perceiving (J and P)
As you will see below, people who have the Sensing type, the Feeling type and the Judging type are more frequent than those with the Intuition type, the Thinking type and the Perceiving type. Down below you will find the distribution for the rest of the personality traits. Interestingly enough, both the Introvert and Extrovert nature is evenly distributed across the collected data.
In each section, we have also included our own statistics, according to our own data. Our personality type percentages are our own personality type statistics drawn from the 6 million people who have taken our test.
Personality Type Percentages
Before we dive in deep, here’s a brief overview of what the type preference distribution looks like, as well as the frequency of each personality type.
This data is taken from the 16 Personalities Institute:
- Extroverted: 49.3%
- Introverted: 50.7%
- Sensing: 73.3%
- Intuition: 26.7%
- Thinking: 40.2%
- Feeling: 59.8%
- Judging: 54.1%
- Perceiving: 45.9%
This table shows the percentages for different personality types.
|Personality Type||16 Personalities Percentage|
SJ Population Statistics
SJ temperament personality types (also known as Protectors) are observant, stable and motivated to keep their lives and those of their loved ones secure. They are reliable, diligent and disciplined, often making excellent leaders.
This table shows the personality type percentages for SJ temperaments:
|SJ Temperament Type||16 Personalities Statistics||pMax Statistics|
SP Population Statistics
SP temperament personality types (also known as Creators) are experimental and primarily driven by sensation. They are very flexible, aesthetically aware and “here and now” type of people.
This table shows the personality type percentages for SP temperaments:
|SP Temperament Type||16 Personalities Statistics||pMax Statistics|
NT Population Statistics
NT temperament personality types (also known as Intellectuals) are introspective, logical and on a constant quest for knowledge. They are abstract, theoretical and technically adept.
This table shows the personality type percentages for NT temperaments:
|NT Temperament Type||16 Personalities Statistics||pMax Statistics|
NF Population Statistics
NF temperament personality types (also known as Visionaries) are introspective and intuitive types, who are also highly idealistic. They are compassionate, with a desire to contribute goodness and meaning into the world.
This table shows the personality type percentages for NF temperaments:
|NF Temperament Type||16 Personalities Statistics||pMax Statistics|
Personality Type Percentages by Gender
Of course, there are some personality differences in the distribution of personality types by gender. Some types have more male representation as opposed to female and vice versa. Sadly, the 16 Personalities Institute doesn’t provide information on this, so we had to use our own data to present the findings.
To supplement our data, we have also turned to another well-known and authoritative study on gender differences and stereotypes. This normative study was conducted in 1996 by Allen Hammer and Wayne Mitchell, and is titled “The Distribution of Personality Types In General Population.” It surveyed 1267 adults on a number of different demographic factors. One of these factors was gender, and its findings can be used to show certain gender trends in temperament preferences in males and females.
Below you will find what we (and they) discovered. This table shows the average distributions of the 16 different personality types by gender.
Rarest Personality Type
Again, according to the 16 Personalities institute, the INFJ personality type is the world’s rarest personality type. This makes sense as this type has Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging preferences — which makes them quiet and sheltered people, that are very much in tune with people’s feelings. If a person has this combination of preferences, it’s easy to understand why they would prefer to blend in with their environment, rather than stand out, as they are an introvert. There might be more people that share the INFJ personality traits out there – they just may not like to make themselves known to the world.
According to our data, the rarest personality type is ESFJ. A person with this personality type is caring, supportive and is concerned for everyone’s well being and happiness. According to the official 16 personalities data, the ESFJ personality type makes up for 12% of the US population. This difference in statistics may be due to difference in sample size (PMax sampled 6 million people), difference in demographics (PMax has test respondents from different countries, not only from the Unites States) and the fact that people from a certain personality type are more prone to answer surveys, such as the 16 personalities test, compared to others.
Rarest Male Personality Type
Our data shows that the rarest male personality type is INFJ. INFJ men make up only about 0.5% of the total males tested. They are introverted, feeling, gentle and idealistic, but still capable of making decisions and carrying on with their goals. They aren’t static spectators — their belief that good and love will save the world compels them to act. Their superior understanding of people’s emotions makes them very empathic and easy to connect to.
Male Temperament Preferences
According to the Hammer-Mitchell study, 68.6% of men have Thinking personality preferences compared to 38.8% of women. This can explain why INFJ is the rarest type among men. This does not mean that men don’t show any Feeling nature — it simply means that a man, as a stereotype, is more likely to be a Thinking type. It also means that men use the Thinking trait more when it comes to decision-making processes. Even if they are more prone to relying on this preference, it is important to know in which situations it’s important to tune into their Feeling nature. This is a skill worth training.
Rarest Female Personality Type
Our data shows that the rarest female personality type is INTJ. Female INTJs also make up about 0.5% of the total females tested. These ambitious, introverted and bold people are unbothered by the general opinion of the masses and are not afraid to pursue their own philosophy of life. Their strategic nature compels them to avoid the spotlight and to work from the shadows. This is why they can often be seen alone — but they don’t mind this at all. For them, every move they make in life is carefully considered and planned in advance.
Female Temperament Preferences
Similarly to the above statistic, the Hammer-Mitchell study found that 61.2% of women prefer Feeling compared to 31.4% of men. This can explain why a female INTJ is in fact a rare personality type. Again, this does not mean that women are oblivious to the Thinking personality trait, but rather that they have a different type of personality characteristics. A worthy analogy is that we all have two hands, but we might prefer our right one to do things with, rather than our left one. Or we might throw a ball with our right hand but catch it with our left, and vice versa. Again, when it comes to situations that demand a certain decision to be made, it is important to know which preference should take precedence — be it following your gut feeling or what common sense tells you. This is a skill that can be trained through a number of different techniques — emotional intelligence being one, for example.
Other Rare Personality Types
With INFJ being the rarest personality type, what are some other rare personality types? Here are the top 5 of the rarest personalities according to the 16 Personalities Institute:
- INFJ: 1.5%
- ENTJ: 1.8%
- INTJ: 2.1%
- ENTP: 3.2%
- INTP: 3.3%
Most Common Personality Type
The most common personality type according to the 16 Personalities Institute is ISFJ, the Defender. This type makes up 13.8% of the US population. This is also not surprising, as they are very logical and traditional people — there is a very big chance you know someone like that in your surroundings. They can be often found in institutions where procedures are key — administration, for example. This personality type is predominantly female — it has only 29% male representation.
According to our data, the most common personality type is INFP. This perceiving type is shy, quiet, feeling and might seem secluded. However, from the inside these people are empathetic, harmonious and maintain rich inner workings. Perhaps the reason why our statistics found that this is the most common personality type is because INFPs are more prone to want to learn more about themselves, hence are more likely to take personality tests such as ours.
Other Common Personality Types
With ISFJ being the most common personality type, what are some other common personality types? Here are the top 5 most common personality types according to the 16 Personalities Institute:
- ISFJ: 13.8%
- ESFJ: 12.3%
- ISTJ: 11.6%
- ISFP: 8.8%
- ESTJ: 8.7%