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ISFJ Overview

Key principles of the ISFJ personality type with global survey data

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ISFJ are natural helpers. They are bound to assist others whenever they can leading them to be extremely valued by their friends and family for their desire to take onboard problems with the same care as though they were their own issues. Humbling and practical are traits heavily carried by ISFJs. An ISFJ's quiet passion will burn brightly for whoever is lucky to make a close friendship or relationship. They are heavily compassionate types.

ISFJ Principles

What are the core principles behind the ISFJ personality type?

Known as ‘The Defender,’ ISFJ personalities are defined as introverted, sensing, feeling, and judging. Hard-working, patient, and imaginative, ISFJs make excellent friends, partners, and parents. They are known for their eagerness to help others, as well as their value towards traditions and family. They can sometimes procrastinate, but not out of laziness; ISFJs are known perfectionists and achieveing perfection in some projects can be a monumental task. While starting the job may be difficult, the ISFJ will always complete their responsibilities on time, and often exceed expectations in the process. That being said, ISFJs are often modest about their accomplishments, sometimes to their own detriment. Learning how to stand up for themselves is a vital part of the ISFJ's journey.

  • They have a deep sense of justice.
  • They are the quiet peacekeepers.
  • They often struggle to talk about their emotions.
  • They are passionate about the people they love.


ISFJs love to care for the people around them, gladly offering their knowledge and time to those they love most. Empathetic ISFJs try to seek solutions that benefit everyone, and are not quick to make judgements about others.

face reading open book

ISFJs are natural problem solvers, open to accepting people as they are and the situations they have found themselves in.


ISFJs pour all of their effort into everything they do, seeking to turn out the best possible results. While their imagination leans more toward the practical than the fantastical, it aids them in achieving their goals; their creativity makes them excellent problem-solvers who seek a fair outcome.

Imaginative scenarios come naturally to an ISFJ and are well-used to help themselves and their friends out of tight spots.


ISFJs are very in tune with their emotions, although they sometimes try to ignore them in favor of helping others. They will sometimes downplay their own achievements, which can make sense as ISFJs do not love being the center of attention. They would rather put in extra work to help others succeed.


ISFJs love putting their knowledge and experience to practical use, finding ways to help others and solve problems. Sometimes their altruism can lead ISFJs to push aside their own feelings and reject help, even if they need it, but the detrimental desire to always stand alone can be overcome with time and effort as the ISFJ learns when it's easier to accept help and not think they are a burden.

light bulb tip icon

Altruism is a rare and valued component to someone's character, but the ISFJ will know the right thing to do and be on their way to helping well before they've even realised they've made an action.

Data: ISFJ World Heatmap

What is the global distribution of the ISFJ personality type?

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

Figure 1: Percent of population with ISFJ type

world heatmap

What this chart shows

This heatmap shows the percent of each country's population who are ISFJ. This helps us to easily identify global distribution of this personality type. For example we see Indonesia has an above-average proportion of ISFJs and Georgia has a below-average proportion of ISFJs.

  • 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 ISFJ types

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

regions with highest percent

What this chart shows

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

  • 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:

ISFJ: The Four Letters Explained

What does ISFJ stand for?

The four letters of the ISFJ personality stand for: (I)ntroverted, (S)ensing, (F)eeling, and (J)udging. Let's consider each of these four traits.



(I)ntroverted vs (E)xtraverted

An introvert is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual. They don't seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling drained.

  • Prefer time to themselves
  • Find social interaction an effort
  • Have close circle of friends
  • Introspective and curious
  • Prefer writing to talking
  • Prefer working alone

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.



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.



(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.



(J)udging vs (P)erceiving

Judging types approach life in a structured, organized and carefully calibrated way, creating plans to help them achieve their goals. Schedules and to-do lists are comforting to them. They prefer knowing what they are getting into and feel frustrated in situations of ambiguity and change.

  • Act decisively
  • Organized and structured
  • Are finishers. They like plans and deadlines.
  • Like closure
  • Prefer structured setting

Judging types gain a sense of control by taking charge of their environment. They are self-disciplined and decisive, going for closure at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid stress.

Data: What percentage of people are ISFJ?

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

Figure 3: Global distribution of ISFJ types

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

ISFJ how-rare

What this chart shows

This chart shows percentage of the population who are ISFJ. We see that INTJ is the rarest and ESTJ is the most common. ISFJ is approximately in the middle at 6.3% of the population.

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

Data: ISFJ Age Statistics

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

Figure 4: percentage of ISFJ types by age

How does the proportion of ISFJ types vary by age?

ISFJ by age

What this chart shows

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

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

Data: ISFJ Genders

Survey data on ISFJ types by genders

ISFJs are mostly female (70.1%) with 29.5% female and 0.5% other.

Figure 5: Type ISFJ by gender


What this chart shows

The split between genders across the ISFJ population is 70.1% female, 29.5% male, 0.5% other. Compared to the average population, ISFJs have a higher proportion of females.

  • 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.