A bar chart showing that 8% of Americans say they have no close friends; 38% report 5 or more.

Americans place a lot of importance on friendship. In fact, 61% of U.S. adults say having close friends is extremely or very important for people to live a fulfilling life, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. This is far higher than the shares who say the same about being married (23%), having children (26%) or having a lot of money (24%).

We decided to ask a few more questions to better understand how Americans are experiencing friendship today. Here’s what we found:  

Number of close friends

A narrow majority of adults (53%) say they have between one and four close friends, while a significant share (38%) say they have five or more. Some 8% say they have no close friends.

There’s an age divide in the number of close friends people have. About half of adults 65 and older (49%) say they have five or more close friends, compared with 40% of those 50 to 64, 34% of those 30 to 49 and 32% of those younger than 30. In turn, adults under 50 are more […]

Read the Full Article