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ESFP Overview

Key principles of the ESFP personality type with global survey data

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ESFPs are extraverted and observant, making them great entertainers who eagerly charms and engages with others. They tend to be responsive to the world around them, readily participating in activities, spontaneous, enjoyable to be around, and they appreciate their surrounding pleasures such as people, food and gifts. ESFPs tend to be highly talkative and engaging in conversation with the zest they show in their lives. ESFPs live in the moment, and make sure they are often the center of attention by being open to different people, employing humor and a playful attitude to help get on with most other personality types and ensure they have a good time with them.


ESFP Principles

What are the core principles behind the ESFP personality type?

People with ESFP personalities are known for their generosity, lively spirit, and strong intersubjective skills (also known as emotional intelligence). They enjoy life without reservation and are committed optimists - sometimes overly so. Rather than calculating their actions, they value spontaneity, oftentimes at the expense of structure. ESFPs are abundant, and so is the joy and warmth they bring into the world.

In general, all ESFPs display these traits:

  • They enjoy being the center of attention.
  • They make judgements based on their value system.
  • They are observant and receptive of other people's feelings.
  • They are always looking for new ways to have fun.

Over-indulgent

ESFPs believe that the mind is its own place, and so they are not too bothered by objective reality; the only absolute is experience. In their most unhinged form, they can come across as impulsive and overly hedonistic. In a more moderate form, ESFPs are thrill-seekers, but still retain a dash of duty and responsibility. In general, they are the last people you would see conserving, recycling, and re-using.

face reading open book

ESFPs try to get the most out of experiences and will readily indulge.

Model Friends

ESFPs get along with everyone and have no predilection for any particular personality type. They are seen as sympathetic, open-minded and non-judgmental; people love having them around. They do, however, have boundaries, albeit a bit more flexible than in certain other personality types. They can become resentful if they are crossed in the wrong way, if they feel their generosity has been abused, or if they are purposefully left out of social situations.

ESFPs often make great friends, engaging and non-judgmental, and able to be flexible and fun to be around.

Concrete Thinkers

The ESFP type isn't too keen on thinking in overly abstract terms. They take sensory information at face value and prefer concise over glib and convoluted language. They are confident in their personal values and principles, and avoid pointless speculation and theorizing. They rely on what they already know to be true, and what their past experiences have led them to believe.

blue star

ESFPs are encouraged when their work has palpable results, and discouraged when they cannot see the point of a certain activity.

Flexible but Chaotic

ESFPs are notorious for avoiding planning and structure. The upside of this is that they are incredibly flexible and adaptable; they can make the most out of any combination of circumstances. But this also makes them more prone to short-term thinking, which is at odds with a society built around (in the mind of the ESFP) tedious norms and rules. Their flexibility, combined with their optimism, often puts them in a position to continuously need to adapt to new situations, which can be tiring and time-consuming.

light bulb tip icon

ESFPs tend to find rules and norms restricting and will readily find ways around them to better suit themselves and others.


Data: ESFP World Heatmap

What is the global distribution of the ESFP personality type?

Which countries have the highest percentage of ESFPs? Is this type more common in certain countries? Use our research data to find out.

Figure 1: Percent of population with ESFP type

world heatmap

What this chart shows

This heatmap shows the percent of each country's population who are ESFP. This helps us to easily identify global distribution of this personality type. For example we see Argentina has a high proportion of ESFPs and Bangladesh has a low proportion of ESFPs.

Notes:
  • 1. Countries with less than 0.001% share of global population have not been included due to sample size.
  • 2. n=27985
  • 3. Population: all
  • 4. Live dataset last updated:

Figure 2: Regions with highest and lowest percent of ESFP types

Top ten countries with highest and lowest percent of respondents with ESFP personality type

regions with highest percent

What this chart shows

This chart shows the top ten countries with the highest proportion of people with ESFP personality type and ten countries with the lowest proportion of people with ESFP personality type.

Notes:
  • 1. Countries with less than 0.001% share of global population have not been included due to sample size.
  • 2. n=27985
  • 3. Population: all
  • 4. Live dataset last updated:

ESFP: The Four Letters Explained

What does ESFP stand for?

The four letters of the ESFP personality stand for: (E)xtraverted, (S)ensing, (F)eeling, and (P)erceiving. Let's consider each of these four traits.

extraverted

Extraverted

(I)ntroverted vs (E)xtraverted

An extravert is a social, assertive, and energetic individual, who is comfortable interacting with the external world. They prefer exploring the wider environment than their own internal thought processes, and find alone time to be demotivating.

  • Prefer spending time with people
  • Full of energy and enthusiasm
  • Large social networks
  • Prefer talking to writing
  • Enjoys meeting new people

Introverts and extraverts can be separated based on how they regain energy. Introverts prefer minimally stimulating environments, and they need time alone to recharge. Extraverts refuel by being with others.

sensing

Sensing

I(N)tuitive vs (S)ensing

Sensing types are focused on the real-world, valuing concrete evidence, logic, and facts. They rely on their senses to navigate the world, rarely believing things they have not themselves personally experienced.

  • Pragmatic and realistic
  • Employs absolute thinking
  • Values lived experience
  • Prefers plain language
  • Less interested in abstractions

Sensing types pay attention to details, rather than the bigger picture. They prefer to work with raw and unadulterated information, refusing to make assumptions or draw conclusions until they have understood the crux of the issue.

feeling

Feeling

(T)hinking vs (F)eeling

Feeling types follow their emotions, feelings, and personal moral principles when making key decisions. Congruence with personal principles is essential to them. When solving problems or making choices, emotional intelligence is preferred over cold rationality.

  • Expresses empathy
  • Follows their heart
  • Truly believes in their principles
  • Shows emotional intelligence
  • Is guided by emotion

Feeling types are deeply empathetic, readily sympathizing with those around them. As a result, they are recognized for their interpersonal warmth and genuine concern for others.

perceiving

Perceiving

(J)udging vs (P)erceiving

Perceiving types are cognitively flexible and open to new possibilities. They prefer variety and unpredictability to routine, welcoming change and rejecting rigidity whenever possible.

  • Open to new possibilities
  • Acts spontaneously
  • Adapts to new information
  • Seeks new experiences
  • Lives in the moment

Perceiving types are comfortable making decisions spontaneously, or even postponing decisions until more information is available. They focus predominantly on the present moment, preferring tasks which are open-ended and flexible, rather than those with deadlines or timetables.


Data: What percentage of people are ESFP?

Which MBTI® type is the rarest and which is the most common?

Figure 3: Global distribution of ESFP types

How does the percent of ESFP type people compare with other types?

esfp how-rare

What this chart shows

We see that the ESFP personality type is quite rate at 4.8% of the population. This compares with the rarest type INTJ at 4.1% of the population.

Notes:
  • 1. n=29746
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Data: ESFP Age Statistics

Are ESFPs more or less likely to be in a particular age group?

Figure 4: percentage of ESFP types by age

How does the proportion of ESFP types vary by age?

ESFP by age

What this chart shows

This chart shows what percent of each age group are ESFP.

Notes:
  • 1. n=40574
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Data: ESFP Genders

Survey data on ESFP types by genders

ESFPs are mostly female (51.0%) with 48.5% male and 0.4% other.

Figure 5: Type ESFP by gender

genders

What this chart shows

The split between genders across the ESFP population is 51.0% female, 48.5% male, 0.4% other. The split between males and females for ESFPs is very similar to that of the general population.

Notes:
  • 1. n=27985
  • 2. Population: global
  • 3. Dataset last updated:
  • 4. Data is derived from users' self-report responses to the question "What is your gender?"

 


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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.