TIL about the "friendship paradox" which states that most people have fewer friends than their friends

Really simple example to help wrap your head around it.

Let's say you have a group of 10 people. One of them is called Fred. Everybody is friends with Fred. No one is friends with anyone else in the group. Each person has exactly 1 friend (Fred), except for Fred, who has 9 friends. The average number of friends per person is 2 (sum of friends / number of people = 18 / 9 = 2).

All the non-Freds have a less than average number of friends. Fred has an above average number of friends.

Obviously in actual scenarios it is much more complex than just one person being friends with everyone and no other friendships existing, but the point still stands. People think this is a "paradox" (awful use of the word here) because friendships are two sided - if you are friends with someone, then your number of friends increases and so does theirs. So it must all even out right? No. friendships are not distributed evenly.

/r/todayilearned Thread Parent Link - en.wikipedia.org