INFJs are often cited as being the rarest personality type. These statistics vary depending on the source from 1% to 5% to some believing higher. Simply put, no one really knows what percentage of the population INFJs make up and I am not sure it would ever be possible to determine.
On the whole, there have been no conclusive studies done on a large scale to determine the validity of the MBTI statistics. Many would argue that it is impossible to measure as some can test inaccurately and personalities are believed to change throughout one’s life. Another factor is the perceived cultural role that plays into the formation of types, meaning every culture and country in the world would need to be thoroughly accounted for. The task to accumulate this data would be expensive and time consuming at best, impossible and incomplete at worst.
For that reason, the data that we do have available must serve as the closest overall view, while recognizing and acknowledging that it is lacking. The Myers & Briggs Foundation provides the following table, “compiled from a variety of MBTI® results from 1972 through 2002, including data banks at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type; CPP, Inc; and Stanford Research Institute (SRI).”
With this information, we cannot definitively state that INFJs are the rarest personality type in the world, but few would argue against the fact that they are closer to the rare end of the spectrum.
While we cannot be sure of how rare or common the INFJ personality type truly is, one thing that many INFJs can agree on is that they feel rare. For this reason, I believe that, while 2% may not be statistically sound, it certainly is representative of the way an INFJ feels in the world.
Sure, there are online communities, websites and books that can point them toward kindred spirits, helping the INFJ feel less alone in the way they think, but in day to day living, from work, school, home life and various other interactions, INFJs feel like they are the only one of their type in the world.
Meeting another INFJ seems a rare occurrence. Perhaps it is because INFJs keep to themselves, preferring to blend into the crowd. Maybe it is because of the “chameleon” effect that allows INFJs to look like other personality types when out of their element.
Whatever the reason, INFJs feel like they are the minority in the way they think, feel, and perceive the world. Hearing that they make up only 1 or 2%of the population is a relief, not because they can cling to the rarity, but the opposite: knowing there are more like them. They are not alone. They are not the only ones. At minimum, 2% of the population understands.
It can be viewed as a negative thing to believe you are unique or rare. Of course, some will flaunt it as a prize. But for many, this statistic of being the rarest personality type helps them see they are not alone. Because when you feel very alone in the world, 2% starts to sound like a very large number. A ray of hope in the world. A pool of kindred spirits longing to connect.
Are INFJs the rarest type? Do they make up only 2% of the population? We cannot know. But the number represents the feeling, if not the facts. Though it may cause the logical scientists to cringe, the intuitive feelers see the value of the representation.