What is the least common Myers-Briggs personality type?
Melissa, MBTI Marketing Manager
There’s no wrong personality type, but there is certainly a least common Myers-Briggs personality type. We looked at a sample of the US population from three different organizations to determine what the least common Myers-Briggs personality types are for men and women and talk a little about why the population isn’t just split evenly among the 16 types. So, what is the least common Myers-Briggs personality type for men and women?
First, what is a sample? A sample is a select group of units (people who’ve taken the official MBTI assessment) from a population (United States) that by studying this group we may fairly generalize our results back to the population.
The numbers we’re sharing below come from three validated sources for Myers-Briggs personality types. The first is the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), and they have a sample size (the group you’re adding together) of about 900,000 people over the past 20 years. The second source is The Myers-Briggs Company, the official publisher of the Myers-Briggs assessment, that lists a national representative sample of about 5,000 people, and the last group comes from the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) contributing about 1,000 people. It’s important to keep in mind that these people have taken the actual MBTI assessment and their types have been verified (aka they didn’t take a knock-off quiz just for fun). Also, these numbers are for the United States only, not samples of type across the globe.
So, what is the least common Myers-Briggs personality type?
The least common Myers-Briggs personality Type is INFJ
People who prefer INFJ make up only 1.5% of the general population in the US. There are only slightly more female INFJs than male INFJs though, with 1.6% of the women in the US having this preference and only 1.3% of the men in the US population having this preference.
The second most rare Myers-Briggs personality type is ENTJ
Those who have preferences for ENTJ are the second most rare Myers-Briggs personality type in the US. With only 1.8% of the total population having preferences for ENTJ, it’s easy to feel misunderstood if you have these preferences. However you have a little more company if you’re a man with ENTJ preferences, as they make up 2.7% of the population while women with ENTJ preferences only account for 0.9% of the population.
The third most rare Myers-Briggs personality type is INTJ
People who prefer INTJ make up 2.1% of the population. Among men, this type is a little more common with 3.3% of the population. Women, however, only make up 0.8% of the population for INTJs.
ENTJ (0.9%) and INTJ (0.8%) are the least common MBTI personality types for women.
Among men in the US, INFJ (1.3%) and ENFJ (1.6%) are the least common MBTI personality types.
Why is INFJ the most rare personality type?
Asking why INFJ is the least common Myers-Briggs personality type is kind of like asking “why are we here on this planet” or “why do some people prefer ice cream to potato chips.” Remember that these are natural preferences, or inborn preferences, so as far as the population goes there are just less people born with this combination of preferences.
In addition, American culture favors preferences for ESTJ. You’ve probably heard or experienced that American culture (among others around the world) favors behaviors associated with the preference for Extraversion – things like brainstorming sessions, networking, group activities, even happy hours. The same is true for preferences for Sensing, Thinking and Judging, which is why at times if you have the opposite preference of those listed, you can feel like the world is pushing back against you at times. Regardless of how rare or common one personality type is though, the important thing is that you know how your specific preferences can help you and how can they not in the environment that you’re in.
If you want to see the type table with all 16 MBTI personality types and what percentage of the US they make up for men, women and both, take a look at the PDF from CAPT.