Ratio of Introverts


The following is a guest post by Natalie. You can see more about her at the bottom of the post.


There are more introverts than you might think. You may have read that Introverts are 25% of the population. This introvert / extrovert ratio has been copied all over the place. Including many ‘authoritative’ books and websites.

It is based on an old estimate from the early 1960’s by Isabel Myers of the Myers-Briggs organization. It was just a personal guess with no real statistical data behind it.

She estimated that 25% of the population of the United States were introverts and 75% Extroverts.

This off the cuff guess has grown a life of it’s own. It’s spread exponentially with the growth of the Internet. That favorite hang out of introverts. Unfortunately the Internet increases the spread of misleading information as much as it does for valuable knowledge.

The actual ratio based on the first official random sample by the Myers-Briggs organization in 1998 showed Introverts 50.7% and Extroverts 49.3% of the USA.

According to the 1998 National Representative Sample, the
breakdowns by preference are:
E- Extroversion, I- Introversion
Total Males Females
E 49.3%, I 50.7% E 45.9%, I 54.1% E 52.5%, I 47.5%
Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (1998). MBTI Manual: A guide to the development and use of the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(3rd ed.). Palo Alto,
CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

How can introverts accept it’s 25% when it’s actually 50%? Well, it’s all depends on your point of view. Most introverts asking about this ratio are very distinctively introverted. If you are ever on the very far end of something, even moderates look effectively the opposite to you.

So, just like someone who is short believes even those of average height are ‘tall’. Those who are very introverted think the ‘average’ people – are extroverted. I am very introverted and when I talk to people about the preferences of introverts, even those I think of as solid extroverts say they are introverted too! It occasionally boggles my mind.

Also our American culture favors extrovert characteristics. That is being ‘friendly’ and ‘outgoing’ is the way to succeed in life. I think many people put on a front in public so they are not seen as ‘loners’.

Understand that the characteristics of introvert and extrovert overlap, flow and merge with no real absolute difference between one point and the next. The differences are only detectable without a test when the gaps are wide, as in opposites. Just like color shades in a color bar merge and fade with only those far apart being highly distinctive.

Color Continuum

I won’t go into all the differences between introverts and extroverts. There are plenty of examples of that in these pages. But introversion and extroversion are only one aspect of personality. And remember there are more of us than you think.

Natalie writes about and shares her personal experience overcoming shyness, building self-esteem and making positive changes in your life at Thoughtful-Self-Improvement.com.



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  6. i am an introverts too. 🙂

    By the way natalie, you have made some good points about it.
    By the way I just checked your website thought self improvement dot com to get some more info. But I guess the domain is expired.

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  9. stacey walker on

    Im glad I found this article about ratio of introverts. Id just read some where that the ratio was like 50/50 and before I found this site Id read 20/80. This one seems to be more acurate and your so right about people trying to be more outgoing when they may not be or not feel like that daily. Its a shame people cant just accept people for who they are.

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  18. Olga Turcotte on

    Hi Natalie,
    Just read your comment in introverts vs extraverts. 2 Things: The Myers-Briggs numbers were not made up nor were they based on personal guess. They were based on research. Most importantly, they were based on C. G, Jung’s findings who originally came up with the concepts to begin with which you do even refer to. Secondly, there is a difference between an extravert and an introvert who has a developed sense of extraversion, just like the difference between a social extravert and an antisocial one (yes, they do exist). It is important to know these differences before you can comment on what Myers-Briggs show with their test. Please read more on the subject. Personality Types by C. G. Jung could be a start for you.

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