According to a new Facebook study, just 4.74 degrees separate any person from another.
It’s long been said that everyone on Earth is six degrees of separation or fewer from one another. But according to a new study, we’re even closer than we thought: Researchers at Facebook and the University of Milan have found that the magic number is just 4.74.
The researchers tracked the connections of the 721 million Facebook members (more than a tenth of the world’s population) to determine how many links it would take to get from one person to a randomly selected other person. Worldwide, the average number of links was 4.74, while in the United States, it took just 4.37 connections to tie one person to another.
“When considering even the most distant Facebook user in the Siberian tundra or the Peruvian rain forest,” the company wrote on its blog, “a friend of your friend probably knows a friend of their friend.”
So if you’re ever feeling a little alienated from society at large, take comfort in the knowledge that you can reach anyone in the world within a few connections. Though it’s got 7 billion people, the world is smaller than you think.