New study claims the average American has this many friends

Whatever the reason the statistic that binds all these limitations, dually states: The average American Adult hasn’t made a new friend in five years.

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OnePoll recently teamed up with Evite, to publish a massive study inspecting the intricate social dynamics of Americans in 2019.

A study of 2,000 U.S. adults suggests that forming meaningful friendships is a source of difficulty for many, particularly due to introversion and abhorrence for the social bar scene.


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Forty-five percent of participants said that they find it very hard to make new friends, 42% of Americans surveyed cited their shyness as the most pressing roadblock, with an additional 45% saying they would make the effort if opportunities presented themselves more frequently.  Whatever the reason, the statistic that binds all these limitations, dually states: The average American adult hasn’t made a new friend in five years.

Hard to come by

To most of the respondents, a good friend was defined by two key factors: honesty and trust.

According to the recent survey, the average American has about 16 friends, though this number is comprised of different degrees of companion, some of which, seem to adopt a generous definition of the term.  By and large, the 16 friends reported, was made up of three friends for life, five friends that were defined as people that the respondents really liked and would hang out one-on-one with, and the remaining eight were people that the respondents liked but would not consider hanging out with one-on-one.

This number seems to plateau as we age, as opportunities to form lasting bonds begin to appear less frequently. For example, of the four opportunities occasioned as the best to make a new friend reported, three occurred early in life: Childhood neighborhood, high school, and college. Nearly 50% of respondents surveyed said that their friend group is primarily made up of people they met while in high school, with 31% saying they’re still with the pals they met in college.

Even though “work” was mentioned the most often as the place where new friends are made, the study also revealed 23 to be the age that most people’s popularity peaks.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.