How many people do we know?
1The circle of family members and close friends consists of some 23 people. That of acquaintances, despite being traditionally less valued, also has the capacity to offer emotional and economic support.
2The majority of the population have an habitual relationship with around 400 acquaintances, but there is a great variability between people. In more extreme cases, acquaintances may number dozens or several thousand.
3In addition to participating in associative organisations, there are factors associated with a greater social life. Being a man, being young, having a job, higher education and economic resources are some of them.
4The result of this study for Spain is consistent with the few previous studies conducted in other countries.
The study of broader social circles, less considered by the social sciences than the relationship with family members and close friends, has also brought to light certain inequalities. People who, because of their vulnerability, need more support and protection are, precisely, the ones who have the least possibilities of achieving this because they know fewer people.