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ISTJ Overview

Key principles of the ISTJ personality type with global survey data

Page contents:

ISTJs are a respectful and serious personality type. It is no surprise that ISTJs are sometimes referred to as Logisticians for they enjoy a rhythm to their lives and this helps them to feel most comfortable with a definite preference for following a particular pattern to completing tasks.

ISTJ Principles

What are the core principles behind the ISTJ personality type?

People with the ISTJ personality type come across as pleasant and serious-minded. With a no-frills aesthetic and a no-nonsense approach to life, they don't often stand out in a crowd, but they don't shy away from the spotlight either. They respect the authority of others and prefer to follow the rules rather than make them, but they are not averse to taking charge to ensure sure tasks are completed the right way.

People with ISTJ type personality (sometimes referred to as Logisticians, Archivists, or Inspectors) are Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging.

  • ISTJs preference for structure, rules, simplicity, and predictability.
  • They also have an ability to focus on and remember small details.
  • Objectivity defines the ISTJ's approach to situations.
  • ISTJs are known for their loyalty.

Methodical and Organized

Many ISTJs find a lot of satisfaction in knowing exactly what to do and knowing the right way to do things. They tend to read or discover in advance how to do a task before approaching it, rather than jumping straight in and discovering the right method on the fly. Many ISTJs will, partly because they like to be efficient, keep their home and work environments tidy, and you may find that they believe things have a place where they are best stored.

face reading open book

The third most common type, ISTJs make up about 11.6% of the population.

A Focus on Details

ISTJs have earned the moniker ‘Investigators’ because you may be surprised by how much they pay close attention to seemingly insignificant details. They can notice tiny incongruencies in the behaviour of others, slight changes in familiar environments, odd aspects of a person's appearance… They aren't necessarily trying to be sleuths, it's just that they often have an eye for inconsistencies, surprising changes, and by anything that breaks with the rules and conventions they are familiar with.

A Cool Head

An ISTJ can be counted upon to behave calmly and rationally in a crisis. Feelings get in the way of sound decisions, and ISTJs are likely to be well-practiced at setting their own emotions aside for the sake of objectivity. Often you may find this level-headedness translated to other parts of their lives, from personal to professional, and they maintain an objective point of view. This skill can lead the ISTJ to have an edge over other types in, for example a debate.

blue star

Time spent alone is not time spent wasted. Introverts recharge by having some time to themselves to think inwardly and introspectively reflect on recent events.

Social Behaviour

ISTJs are introverts, which means they don't actively crave social situations, but that doesn't mean they avoid them. They dutifully and methodically develop excellent communication skills so that they can properly fill the role they enjoy in their friendship circles. Although they are less likely to be the life of the party than other types, they are quite adept at keeping the conversation going, bringing up topics that interest them in order to engage with new acquaintances. It's not unusual for long-time colleagues of ISTJs to realize, at some point, that although they have worked alongside their ISTJ colleague for years and have heard much about various topics of interest, they know little about their personal life.

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ISTJs are adaptable to the social situation they find themselves in.

Data: ISTJ World Heatmap

What is the global distribution of the ISTJ personality type?

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

Figure 1: Percent of population with ISTJ type

world heatmap

What this chart shows

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

  • 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 ISTJ types

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

regions with highest percent

What this chart shows

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

Source: Personality Project, ISTJ data

ISTJ: The Four Letters Explained

What does ISTJ stand for?

The four letters of the ISTJ personality stand for: (I)ntroverted, (S)ensing, (T)hinking, 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

Thinking types are objective. They make decisions based on facts. They are ruled by their head instead of their heart. Thinking people judge situations and others based on logic. They value truth over tact and can easily identify flaws.

  • Use logic and objectivity
  • Seek the truth
  • Value reason and rationality
  • Direct with people
  • Prefer facts to opinions

Thinking types are critical thinkers and oriented toward problem-solving. Thinking does not mean a person is without emotion.



(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 ISTJ?

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

Figure 3: Global distribution of ISTJ types

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

ISTJ how-rare

What this chart shows

This chart shows percentage of the population who are ISTJ. We see that INTJ is the rarest and ESTJ is the most common. ISTJ is one of the more common personality types at 6.6% of the population.

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

Data: ISTJ Age Statistics

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

Figure 4: percentage of ISTJ types by age

How does the proportion of ISTJ types vary by age?

ISTJ by age

What this chart shows

This chart shows what percent of each age group are ISTJ. Compared to the average of all ages, we see there is a concentration of ISTJs in the under 21 age group.

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

Data: ISTJ Genders

Survey data on ISTJ types by genders

ISTJs are mostly female (50.7%) with 48.2% female and 1.0% other.

Figure 5: Type ISTJ by gender


What this chart shows

The split between genders across the ISTJ population is 50.7% female, 48.2% male, 1.0% other. Compared to the average population, ISTJs 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.