How many people do we know?

Miranda Jessica Lubbers, José Luis Molina and Hugo Valenzuela, (Investigation Group GRAFO, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Adaptation: Xavier Aguilar

Each Spanish citizen knows (on average) 536 people, although the breadth of this social circle can vary widely between individuals. The research presented in this article shows that factors such as age, gender, education and income level influence the number of people with whom we have regular dealings. Furthermore, it analyses to what point having more or fewer acquaintances can predispose people to receiving types of support that we usually relate with closest friendships.
Key points
  • 1
       The 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.
  • 2
       The 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.
  • 3
       In 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.
  • 4
       The result of this study for Spain is consistent with the few previous studies conducted in other countries.
Who knows the most people?
Who knows the most people?

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.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Infodata

Number of generations necessary so that those born in families with low incomes can reach the average level of income in their society

In Spain, according to this indicator, it takes four generations to improve the incomes of families with precarious finances.

Infodata

Percentage of people who view themselves as above their parents or grandparents on the social ladder

Some 29% of Spaniards have a social position above that of their parents, and over 40% believe they have risen above their grandparents on the social ladder.

Infodata

Population distribution by types of household

In 2019, households were predominantly formed by childless couples (22.7%), versus 12.2% formed by couples with children.

Best practices

Child benefit design: the importance of refundable tax deductions

Child support benefits improve the economic situation of families and appear to be positive for increasing fertility rates. How can they be designed with efficiency?

Review

An intergenerational perspective of the coronavirus crisis and the role of family policies

The covid-19 pandemic has caused a health crisis and an economic one. The two books reviewed here offer complementary perspectives on the role of family policies in times of economic decline.

You may also find interesting

Article

Gambling addiction in adolescence: betting, technologies and drug use

Gambling addiction in adolescence: betting, technologies and drug use

Science

According to this study, the most popular form of gambling among teenagers is sports betting, and there is a higher level of online gambling addiction among boys.

Article

From Moderate to Hyperconnected Users: Six Smartphone Use Profiles and Their Impact on Personal Well-being

From Moderate to Hyperconnected Users: Six Smartphone Use Profiles and Their Impact on Personal Well-being

Science

What use are young Spaniards making of mobile phones? This study indicates that 19% are hyperconnected, showing difficulties in controlling the use of this technology.

Article

Can algorithms expose tax fraud?

Can algorithms expose tax fraud?

Science

Things are becoming increasingly difficult for tax evaders, with the new big data and artificial intelligence techniques that detect hidden wealth, the abuse of aggressive tax engineering and money laundering.

// ]]>