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Enneagram Type 5 - 'The Investigator'

A summary of what it means to be an Enneagram Type 5

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Enneagram Type 5s are motivated by the pursuit of knowledge. They value privacy, self-reliance, and efficiency. Type Fives frequently prefer to work behind the scenes, often in solitude, gathering information and making observations. Although they typically don't prefer the limelight, they can be enthusiastic sources of knowledge when encouraged to share their expertise.

Key Personality Traits of an Enneagram Type 5

What are the core traits of a Type 5?

From studying the Enneagram Type 5, we have found common key personality traits that this type hold. In general:

  • Type Fives think before they speak
  • Type Fives love routines and loathe surprises
  • Type Fives avoid dramatic displays of emotion
  • Type Fives minimise material needs and dependence on others
  • Type Fives are often preoccupied with thoughts
  • Type Fives value boundaries in relationships

Data: How Rare is Type 5?

Which Enneagram type is the rarest and which is the most common?

Figure 1: Global distribution of each Enneagram type.

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What this chart shows

This chart shows percentage of the population who are each Enneagram type. We see that Type 4s are the most common and Type 6s are the most rare. Type 5s are the second most rare at 5.8% of the population.

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Data: Which Country has the Highest Proportion of Type 5?

Survey data on global population frequency of Enneagram Type 5

Figure 2: Regions with highest percent of Type 5s

which country has the highest percent

What this chart shows

This chart shows countries with the five highest and five lowest percent of respondents with Enneagram Type 5 personality type. This helps identify which regions have an above or below average proportion of Type Fives. We see that of those reporting their country as 'Pakistan' there is an above average proportion of Type 5s, and of those reporting their country as 'Zimbabwe' there are no Type 5s.

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Dataset last updated:
  • 4. Data is derived from users' self-report responses to the question "What is your country of nationality?".
  • 5. Countries with insufficient sample sizes have been excluded from this study.

What it Means to be an Enneagram Type 5

An outline of what it means to be a Type 5 - The Investigator

Type Fives are always gathering and analyzing information, working to deeply understand the world. They filter their experiences through the mind, rather than directly engaging in physical or emotional sensations, often having difficulty behaving spontaneously. For example, an Enneagram Type 5 who wants to learn to dance may ask for lessons and then spend quite some time studying the teacher's moves from a safe position on the wall, not daring to attempt imitation until all the movements have been memorized.

Type Fives are much more at home in their heads, and they can become so preoccupied with their thoughts that they neglect their physical health and personal environments. They may come across as emotionless and out of touch, but this actually comes from a depth of sensitivity. Early in life, Type Fives learned to retreat into their minds as a defence against a world that overstimulated them and emotions that exhausted them.

Emotionless or Sensitive?

Type Fives often retreat into their minds as a defence against a world that overstimulates them and emotions that are exhaustive

One of the core fears of Type Fives is a lack of competency. Worried that they will let loved ones down or come up short when covering their own needs, they seek out uncomplicated relationships and simple lifestyles, and they tend to hoard the few resources they deem essential. For this reason, close relationships with Type Fives are often hard won, but they can be immensely rewarding for both parties.

Type Fives relish nothing more than to share useful information with people who value their expertise. It may take some encouragement to open up your Type Five friend, but when they feel confident that they have something important to contribute, there's no stopping them.

Dimensions of Type 5 - The Investigator

The three main dimensions of Enneagram Type 5

When we perform factor analysis on the core behaviors of each Enneagram type, we find that Type Fives exhibit positive correlations with four core traits (or 'Dimensions') as we shall call them. Dimensions are specific behavioral indicators that underpin a person's enneatype. Think of them as building blocks of a person's personality.

Consider the four Dimensions which came out as having strong correlation with Type 5 personality type, and it helps to understand what underpins a Type 5's behavior.

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An Enneagram Type 5 tends to have high levels of self-efficacy. They have confidence in their ability to achieve their goals, affect the world around them, and meaningfully control their life’s direction

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An Enneagram Type 5 tend to have high complexity. A Type 5 is able to develop complex ideas and skills. This can leave them prone to absentmindedness due to being 'in their head' too much. However, this does allow for an abundance of independent thought which lends to their title as 'The Investigator'.

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Cooperative (Reversed)

An Enneagram Type Five tends to be less cooperative than other Enneatypes. They focus their attentions inwards towards their intellectual and academic pursuits, feeling no desire to appease other people or give in to their demands.

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Volatile (Reversed)

An Enneagram Type Five is less volatile than other Enneatypes. They are usually emotionally stable, often seeming cool, calm, or even emotionally cold to people with a more volatile Enneatype.

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Altruistic (Reversed)

An Enneagram Type Five is often less altruistic than other Enneatypes. They often hold stoic and objective perspectives on moral issues, preferring to avoid factoring emotionality into their decision-making processes.

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Team-Oriented (Reversed)

An Enneagram Type Five is less likely to be team-oriented. Type Fives are solitary people, preferring to focus on their individual interests and pursue their own goals, finding external groups to be an unwelcome distraction.

Data: Enneagram Type 5 Dimensions Profile

The dimensions of Type 5

We studied the core personality traits (dimensions) of Enneagram Type Fives. The radar chart below shows the results of our survey.

Figure 3: Radar chart of core personality traits (dimensions) of Type Fives


What this chart shows

This chart shows how Type 5s score on 14 key personality traits. The scores on each scale are derived from our internal research and present a helpful shorthand to describe the Enneagram Type 5 personality profile. For example we see that Type 5s score high on Complexity and Self-efficacy but low on Team-oriented.

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Type 5: Heart Type, Head Type, or Body Type?

Which center of intelligence is an Enneagram Type 5?
  • head type icon Head type

Type Fives are head types. They trust their intellect rather than their instincts or emotions. They value logic and reason in decision-making, and they prefer to think things through before taking action. When asked how they feel about a topic, Type Fives will often describe their thoughts instead.


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Type Fives are head types. They trust their intellect rather than their instincts or emotions.

Data: Type 5 Genders

Survey data on Type 5 by genders

Type 5s are mostly male (55.7%) with 43.7% female and 0.4% non-binary.

Figure 4: Type 5s by gender


What this chart shows

The split between genders across the Type 5 population was 43.7% female, 55.7% male, 0.4% non-binary.

  • 1. n=655
  • 2. Population: Global Type Fives
  • 3. Dataset last updated:
  • 4. Data is derived from users' self-report responses to the question "What is your gender?"

Data: Proportion of Enneagram Type 5 in each Religion

Percent of people who are Type 5 by major religion

Are Type 5s more inclined towards certain religions? From our research we see that Muslims are more likely to be Type 5s than Sikhs are.

Figure 5: Percent of Type Fives in each major religion


What this chart shows

This chart shows what percentage of eight religions are Type 5, and the global average percent of people who are Type 5. This helps identify whether a particular religion has an above-average or below-average proportion of Type 5s.

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Dataset last updated:
  • 4. Religions without a sufficient sample size were not included.
  • 5. Data is derived from users' self-report responses to the question "Which religion do you most identify with?"

Type 5 Strengths and Weaknesses

What are the positive and negative attributes of a Type 5

Each Enneagram type has its unique strengths and weaknesses. Personality traits that stand out and others that can be unhelpful. Here we will answer the question of 'what are the main strengths and weaknesses of being a Type 5 Enneagram?'

Info Table
Strengths Weaknesses
A driving curiosity A lack of self-confidence
A cool head in stressful situations Difficulty connecting with others
Efficient use of time and resources Stinginess with time and energy
Independence Difficulty navigating unplanned/unpredictable situations
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Note: Enneagram Type 5s can become highly absorbed in topics of special interest. There is the danger of getting lost in abstractions or stalled in the information-gathering phase without ever taking action, as the Type Five believes that there is always more to learn.

Enneagram Type 5 Fears and Desires

A list of the core fears and desires of Type 5s

Each Enneagram type has fears and desires; things to avoid and things to seek out.


Things Enneagram Type 5 should avoid

Core fear: To be unequipped and unprepared, unable to fulfil requirements or expectations. A lack of knowledge, resources, or energy will expose them to failure, and they will not be able to survive on their own.

  • Running out of energy/resources
  • Lack of competency
  • Lacking purpose/usefulness


Things Enneagram Type 5 should seek

Core Desire: Wanting to bring well-thought out and lovingly crafted contributions to the table.

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Deep understanding of how things work
  • To possess knowledge

Data: Type 5 Age Distribution

Grouped survey data on Type 5 ages

We surveyed the age of Type Fives and grouped the data.

Figure 6: Enneagram Type 5 by age


What this chart shows

This chart shows that Type Fives are disproportionately likely to be over 60 compared to other enneatypes. We suspect this is because retirement allows individuals to focus more on their cognitive pursuits and personal interests. Similarly, the reduced level of responsibility that older adults have after their adult children leave the home frees up further time for interest and academic pursuits, making this enneatypes particularly well suited to older retired adults.

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Dataset last updated:

Type 5 Arrows: Type 5s at Their Best and Their Worst

What are Enneagram arrows and how do they work?

Type Fives are one of the three withdrawn types (along with Types Four and Nine), but they react to extreme situations by behaving like assertive Types Eight and Seven.

When Type Fives are feeling confident, they act on their knowledge and assume leadership roles, becoming decisive and authoritative like Type Eights.

When Type Fives are in distress, they reach out to others and become industrious, but their difficulty focusing whilst in this state can lead to unfinished projects.

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Type Five arrow

Type Five arrow chart

When a Type Five is in flow, what is called Direction of Integration, Type Fives become more joyful, pleasant, and more spontaneous as if they were healthy Type Eights.

  • Direction of Integration = Healthy Type 8
  • Direction of Disintegration = Unhealthy Type 7
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Tip: Coming out of your comfort zone and becoming more self-efficient and confident can help an Enneagram Type 5 become better integrated with Type Eights.

What is the wing of Enneagram Type 5?

A Type 5 can have one of two wings. For Type 5 the adjacent Enneatypes are 4 and 6. A Type 5 can either have a Four-wing (4w3) or a Six-wing (5w6). With either of these wings, the Type 5 would then exhibit certain traits of that wing type.

Data: Type 5 Sexual Orientation

Survey data on Type 5 sexual orientation

We surveyed sexual orientation amongst Enneagram Type Fives.

Figure 7: Enneagram Type 5 by sexual orientation

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What this chart shows

This chart shows what percentage of each a particular sexual preference are Type 5. For example 5.3% of people reporting as heterosexual are Type 5. Lesbians are more likely to be Type 5 than heterosexuals are.

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Dataset last updated:

Data: Type 5 Qualifications

Survey data on Type 5 academic qualifications

We surveyed Type 5s on their highest level of academic qualification.

Figure 8: Highest level of qualification held by Type 5s


What this chart shows

This chart shows the percent of the population who reported holding a particular qualification as their highest qualification. By comparing data for Type 5 and all types, we can see whether Type 5s are more or less likely to hold a particular qualification. We see that Type 5s are more likely than the average population to hold as their highest qualification "A Level or equivalent qualification".

  • 1. n=11,271
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Dataset last updated:
  • 4. Data is derived from users' self-report responses to the question "Your highest level of qualification".


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Chloe Yarwood, MSc

University of Chichester, Advanced Applied Psychology

Chloe Yarwood, MSc in Advanced Applied Psychology from University of Chichester. Specialist in personality type theory and developing valid personality questionnaires.