“What is the rarest Myers-Briggs type?”
“What is the most common MBTI® type?”
These are questions I get asked daily as an MBTI® practitioner. The answers can be confusing, because statistics and surveys change from year to year. Plus many people feel that being rare is the equivalent of being “best.” Today we’re going to take a look at the rarest Myers-Briggs personality types as taken from a national sample of 16,773 individuals from 23 different countries. For more information on this national sample, you’ll need to pick up a copy of the MBTI® Manual – Fourth Edition.
We’re ranking the 16 personality type from rarest to most common, but this article is by no means saying any personality types are better than others.
“But my personality type is common and I still feel misunderstood!”
Having a common personality type doesn’t mean that you will automatically fit in and feel deeply understood. Even the most common personality type only makes up 15.9% of the global sample that was used for the survey! This means that regardless of your type there’s a good chance that you feel misunderstood.
Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire!
Before You Write That Angry Comment…
This article has been extremely controversial and the source of many angry comments and emails since I published it. All the data in this article is taken from the newest official MBTI® Manual. The results were taken from a sample of 16,773 individuals from 23 different countries. I am not concocting this information but getting it directly from The Myers-Briggs Company itself.
Table of contents
- Before You Write That Angry Comment…
- The Rarest Male MBTI® Type
- The Rarest Female MBTI® Type
- The Rarest to Most Common Myers-Briggs® Types
- The ENTJ – The Rarest MBTI Type
- The ENFJ – The Second Rarest MBTI Type
- The INFJ – The Third Rarest MBTI Type
- The INTJ – Fourth Rarest MBTI Type
- The ENTP – 4.3% of the National Sample
- The INTP – 4.8% of the National Sample
- The ESFJ – 5.7% of the National Sample
- The ESFP – 6% of the National Sample
- The ESTP – 6.1% of the National Sample
- The INFP – 6.3% of the National Sample
- The ISFP – 6.6% of the National Sample
- The ENFP – 8.2% of the National Sample
- The ISFJ – 8.4% of the National Sample
- The ESTJ – 9% of the National Sample
- The ISTP – 9.8% of the National Sample
- The ISTJ – 15.9% of the National Sample
The Rarest Male MBTI® Type
It’s a Tie! INFJs and ENFJs are the Rarest Male Personality Types
Men who value Intuition, Feeling, and Judging only make up 2.8% of the male population combined! Insightful and empathetic, these types have a desire to draw their communities towards progress and change. Because of their future-oriented, abstract focus, they aim to motivate people towards a vision or picture of how they want the future to be. They have a knack for understanding how to move people on an emotional level.
You can find out more about these two personality types here: 10 Talents of the INFJ and ENFJ Personality Types
The Rarest Female MBTI® Type
Female ENTJs make up only 1.5% of the female population. These ambitious types are known for their bold, strategic nature and their ability to bring people on board for their vision. Decisive and insightful, they tend to pioneer new paths in technology and business. In fact, this type is also the highest-earning personality type!
The Rarest to Most Common Myers-Briggs® Types
The ENTJ – The Rarest MBTI Type
Making up a mere 1.8% of the population, ENTJs are the rarest of all the 16 personality types. However, these types don’t usually mind being rare – in fact, they tend to like it! As independent achievers, they don’t feel a compulsion to “fit in” as many other types do. They value intelligence and competence and are forceful in applying themselves towards their revolutionary goals.
The ENFJ – The Second Rarest MBTI Type
ENFJs are the second-rarest personality type, making up only 2.2% of the population. These insightful, compelling types tend to know just the right buttons to push to motivate people towards their goals. Because they are so passionate and understanding, ENFJs have a gift for motivating people towards personal growth. They are usually very directive and decisive in achieving goals that they feel are best for communities as a whole.
The INFJ – The Third Rarest MBTI Type
The INFJ personality long been touted as the rarest personality type of all, even by me! However, over the last decade, they have become slightly less rare and now make up 2.3% of the population. INFJs are the “Mystics” of the Myers-Briggs system and have a gift for anticipating future implications. They are primarily focused on the big picture and they tend to have an eye towards long-range plans and less of a focus on day-to-day details. These types are deeply in-tune with patterns, symbols, and abstract possibilities. Typically caring and compassionate, they have a knack for understanding human motivations.
The INTJ – Fourth Rarest MBTI Type
Intellectual, creative, and strategic – the INTJ is the second-rarest female personality type and the fourth-rarest male personality type. These individuals are driven to understand the deeper meaning behind what happens in life. It’s as if they want to grasp the “dance of the universe” and see more deeply into situations and events than most people ever consider in their lifetime. They naturally synthesize complex theoretical matters to devise strategies and develop visionary objectives.
The ENTP – 4.3% of the National Sample
As the fifth-rarest personality type, ENTPs are known for their innovative, imaginative approach to life. Because they are drawn towards novelty and transformation, ENTPs are the quintessential “idea-people” of the world. Quick, ingenious, and charismatic, they are adept at generating possibilities and analyzing them in a strategic way.
The INTP – 4.8% of the National Sample
Quiet and reflective, INTPs have a desire to understand the logical explanation for everything that happens. Because these types are so deeply analytical, they have a unique ability to focus in-depth on a problem in order to solve it. They rarely get impatient when problem-solving, unless they are pressured or micro-managed by others (which they hate). They are typically skeptical, curious, and creative.
The ESFJ – 5.7% of the National Sample
The rarity of ESFJs surprised me because they were ranked as the 2nd most common personality type in results from 1972-2002. I don’t know why this type has become rarer, but it’s an interesting new development! ESFJs are the warm-hearted, conscientious centers of most communities. These types work with determination to create a harmonious, fair world. They are typically pragmatic, loyal, and supportive and contribute a great deal to the causes they believe in.
The ESFP – 6% of the National Sample
Outgoing, charismatic, and friendly – ESFPs have a zest for life that is nearly unmatched. These adventurous souls aim to live each day to its fullest potential and approach work, life, and family with a sense of fun. Flexible and spontaneous, ESFPs adapt quickly to new people and environments.
The ESTP – 6.1% of the National Sample
Realistic and action-oriented – ESTPs focus on enjoying life and solving real-world, immediate problems. These spontaneous, adventurous types enjoy taking smart risks and often pursue entrepreneurial careers or ventures in the stock market or law enforcement. They enjoy thinking on their feet and having an active, fast-paced life.
The INFP – 6.3% of the National Sample
Idealistic, compassionate, and creative – INFPs are often the artists, authors, and background helpers of the world. They are usually quick to see possibilities and potential in people and themselves. They usually appear flexible on the outside but inwardly are very committed to their values and beliefs.
The ISFP – 6.6% of the National Sample
Sensitive but pragmatic – ISFPs are passionately loyal to the values that are important to them. They have a free-spirited, inquisitive approach to life and tend to enjoy traveling, creating, and spending time in nature. These types want to make a hands-on difference in the lives of others and are over-represented in health-care and emergency service industries as a result.
The ENFP – 8.2% of the National Sample
Compassionate and charismatic – ENFPs see life as full of possibilities and potential. They quickly make connections between events and information and make decisions based on the patterns they see. These types readily give support and reassurance to others and have a flexible, spontaneous approach to life.
The ISFJ – 8.4% of the National Sample
Supportive and loyal, ISFJs are often the good Samaritans of the type community. These types believe in nurturing their communities and preserving the details and traditions that give life a sense of beauty and meaning. They are usually considerate, responsible, and conscientious.
The ESTJ – 9% of the National Sample
Determined, practical, and matter-of-fact – ESTJs move through life with a desire to organize everything for maximum efficiency. These types focus on getting results without expending a lot of unnecessary energy. They have an eye for details and a clear set of logical standards they adhere to. They are usually very ambitious and determined in implementing their plans.
The ISTP – 9.8% of the National Sample
Adventurous and analytical, ISTPs are able to find solutions quickly in make-or-break situations. They enjoy gathering information and using it in a hands-on way in the real world. Autonomous and often mysterious, these types are highly observant to their surroundings and quickly find opportunities and resources that can be used to aid them in their goals.
The ISTJ – 15.9% of the National Sample
As the most common personality type, ISTJs are the foundation of many communities and workplaces around the world. These types are highly detail-oriented, pragmatic, and grounded. Because they are so detail-oriented and dependable, they are prized in the workforce and are often over-represented in careers like accounting and law enforcement. ISTJs strive to be reasonable in their decisions and value common sense and wisdom gained by experience. Because of this, they are usually quick to decide logically how to handle situations. They usually work towards goals steadily, regardless of roadblocks or distractions. It’s important for them to make the world a more organized, sensible, and effective. It’s a good thing we have so many of these types in the world!
MBTI® Manual – Fourth Edition
What Do You Think?
Did you enjoy this article? Did you feel like your personality traits are rare? Remember that type rarity doesn’t equal type superiority. Too many people let themselves think that! Each individual is completely unique, regardless of how rare or common their personality type is. Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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