30 Lying Statistics & Facts: How Often Do People Lie?

New lying statistics suggest that people, on average, tell 1 to 2 lies per day.

Alan Hollander
September 14, 2023

30 Lying Statistics & Facts: How Often Do People Lie?

New lying statistics suggest that people, on average, tell 1 to 2 lies per day.

How Often Do People Lie?

Researchers estimate that the average person tells around 1-2 lies per day. Lying is a common human behavior that has been present throughout history. It is a form of deception in which one person intentionally communicates false information to another person. People lie for many reasons, such as to protect themselves, to gain advantage, or to avoid punishment.

Interesting Lying Statistics & Facts

  1. Frequency: On average, people tell 1-2 lies per day.
  2. Gender differences: Research suggests that men and women tend to lie with similar frequency.
  3. Age differences: Studies indicate that lying is more prevalent among children and decreases with age.
  4. Lie detection: People can detect lies correctly only about 54% of the time, indicating that lies can often go unnoticed.
  5. White lies: Approximately 60% of people admit to telling white lies occasionally.
  6. Relationship lies: In romantic relationships, approximately 92% of people report having lied to their partner.
  7. Resume lies: Studies suggest that 75% of job applicants include false information on their resumes.
  8. Deceptive online dating profiles: Around 81% of people misrepresent themselves on online dating platforms.
  9. Social media lies: A survey found that 40% of social media users fabricate aspects of their lives online.
  10. Self-deception: Research indicates that individuals lie to themselves up to 200 times a day to maintain a positive self-image.
  11. Financial lies: Estimates suggest that insurance fraud, tax evasion, and other financial lies cost billions of dollars annually.
  12. Academic lies: Studies reveal that 80% of college students admit to cheating at least once.
  13. Evasion of responsibility: In a study, 25% of people admitted to lying to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
  14. Embellishment: Research suggests that individuals tend to exaggerate their accomplishments by 50% when talking to others.
  15. Excuses and explanations: On average, people provide excuses or justifications for their behavior 18 times a week.
  16. Trustworthiness perceptions: Only 30% of people believe they are significantly more honest than the average person.
  17. Lie motives: The most common reasons for lying include avoiding punishment, gaining advantages, and protecting oneself or others.
  18. Frequency of lying decreases with close relationships: People lie less frequently to their close friends and family compared to acquaintances.
  19. Lying and mental health: Some studies suggest that individuals with certain mental health conditions, such as antisocial personality disorder, may lie more frequently.
  20. Cultural differences: Lying rates may vary across cultures, as different societies have varying norms and expectations regarding honesty.
  21. Lies at work: Research shows that 40-50% of employees admit to lying to their boss or colleagues.
  22. Lying to children: Parents lie to their children about various topics, such as the existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, with an estimated 84% of parents participating in such lies.
  23. Lie frequency in politics: Political figures are often associated with dishonesty, and surveys indicate that public trust in politicians is generally low.
  24. Lie detection and facial expressions: People often rely on facial cues to detect lies, but studies suggest that these cues are not always reliable indicators of deception.
  25. Lies in personal advertisements: A study found that up to 90% of individuals in personal ads misrepresented their attributes.

The reasons behind why people lie are complex and varied. Some people lie to avoid getting into trouble, while others may lie to protect themselves or someone else. Others may lie to avoid hurting someone's feelings, or to impress others. Whatever the reason, lying can have negative consequences for both the liar and the person being lied to.

One of the most common reasons people lie is to protect themselves from punishment or negative consequences. For example, a child may lie to their parents about breaking a vase to avoid getting in trouble. In this case, the lie is seen as a form of self-preservation. However, lying can also be used to gain an advantage over others. For example, a job applicant may lie on their resume to appear more qualified for a position.

Another common reason people lie is to avoid hurting someone's feelings. For example, if someone asks if you like their new haircut, you may lie and say yes to avoid hurting their feelings. In this case, the lie is seen as a form of kindness or politeness.

However, lying can also have negative consequences for both the liar and the person being lied to. For example, if a person is caught lying, they may lose the trust of those around them. Additionally, the person being lied to may feel hurt or betrayed, which can damage the relationship.

Fascinating Lying Statistics

  1. Studies suggest that people, on average, tell 1 to 2 lies per day. (University of Massachusetts study)
  2. Over 60% of people report telling at least one lie within a 10-minute conversation. (James J. Frey study)
  3. When strangers meet for the first time, approximately 27% of interactions involve lies. (DePaulo et al. study)
  4. More than 80% of lies are considered to be minor lies, or "white lies." (DePaulo et al. study)
  5. People are more likely to lie via text messaging than in face-to-face conversations. (Cornell University study)
  6. Adolescents tend to lie to their parents about 50% of the time. (Journal of Youth and Adolescence)
  7. Online dating profiles contain some level of deception, with around 81% of users exaggerating or hiding information. (University of Wisconsin-Madison study)
  8. Approximately 30% of job applicants lie on their resumes. (ADP, Inc. study)
  9. In a survey, 38% of employees admitted to calling in sick when they were not actually ill. (CareerBuilder survey)
  10. Around 25% of married individuals in the United States admit to lying to their spouses about money matters. (National Endowment for Financial Education survey)
  11. The primary motivations for lying include avoiding punishment, gaining advantages, and protecting self-image. (University of Notre Dame study)
  12. Lying increases with age, with the highest frequency observed in older adults. (University of Michigan study)
  13. People tend to lie more when they are in high-stakes situations or when they perceive a lack of consequences for dishonesty. (University of Massachusetts study)
  14. In experiments, people lie more when they believe their lies will benefit others rather than just themselves. (University of Zurich study)
  15. Lying can be influenced by cultural norms and social conditioning, with different societies exhibiting varying degrees of acceptance toward deception. (Cross-cultural studies)

Most Common Lies People Tell In Relationships

Here are some of the most common lies people tell in relationships:

  1. "I'm fine."
  2. "I love you."
  3. "I didn't do anything wrong."
  4. "I'm not interested in anyone else."
  5. "It's not about you."


How often do people lie?

It is difficult to determine exactly how often people lie, as it can vary greatly depending on the individual and the situation. However, research suggests that people may tell an average of 1-2 lies per day.

These lies can range from small, white lies such as telling someone you're fine when you're actually feeling upset, to more serious deceptions such as lying about one's qualifications or past experiences.

Why do people lie?

People lie for a variety of reasons, and the motivations behind lying can be complex and multifaceted. Here are some common reasons why people lie:

  1. Avoiding Consequences: One of the most common reasons people lie is to avoid negative consequences or punishment. They may fear facing punishment, judgment, or disapproval for their actions, so they lie to protect themselves.
  2. Gaining Advantage: Some individuals lie to gain an advantage or benefit. This could be in the form of getting a job, winning a competition, or obtaining some other form of personal gain.
  3. Self-Protection: People may lie to protect themselves emotionally or psychologically. They might conceal sensitive information or hide their true feelings to avoid vulnerability or emotional harm.
  4. Maintaining Relationships: White lies are often told to maintain harmony in relationships. People may lie to spare others' feelings, avoid conflicts, or keep the peace.
  5. Social Acceptance: Individuals may lie to fit in with a particular social group or to be perceived positively by others. This can be related to wanting to be liked, admired, or accepted by peers or society.
  6. Self-Presentation: People sometimes lie to create a specific image or impression of themselves. They might exaggerate their accomplishments or downplay their failures to appear more successful or admirable.
  7. Privacy and Protection: Lying can be a way to protect one's privacy or safeguard sensitive information from others.
  8. Coping Mechanism: Some individuals may lie as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, anxiety, or difficult situations.
  9. Social Pressure: Peer pressure or societal expectations can lead people to lie to conform to norms or avoid being judged.
  10. Fear of Rejection: The fear of rejection or abandonment can motivate people to lie, particularly in intimate relationships.
  11. Habitual Behavior: For some individuals, lying becomes a habitual behavior, and they may lie without fully realizing the consequences.

It's essential to note that lying is a complex behavior influenced by various psychological, social, and cultural factors. While lying can be a short-term strategy to deal with certain situations, honesty and integrity are crucial for building trust and maintaining healthy relationships in the long run.

Are some people more prone to lying than others?

Yes, some individuals may be more prone to lying than others due to underlying psychological factors or personality traits. For example, people with narcissistic or sociopathic tendencies may be more likely to lie in order to manipulate others for personal gain.

Additionally, individuals who struggle with low self-esteem may feel the need to exaggerate their accomplishments or fabricate stories in order to gain approval or validation from others.

Can lying ever be justified?

While honesty is generally considered a virtue, there may be situations where lying could be perceived as a justifiable action. For example, if telling the truth would cause harm or danger to oneself or others, withholding information or telling a small lie could potentially prevent negative consequences.

However, these situations are rare and should not be used as an excuse for habitual dishonesty.

How can I tell if someone is lying?

There are several signs that may indicate that someone is lying, such as avoiding eye contact, fidgeting or nervous behavior, inconsistent details in their story, and defensive body language.

However, these signs are not foolproof and should not be used as the sole basis for accusing someone of dishonesty. It is also worth noting that some skilled liars may have learned how to control these physical responses in order to deceive others more effectively.

What can I do if I catch someone in a lie?

If you catch someone in a lie, it is important to approach the situation with empathy and an open mind. Try to understand why the person may have felt compelled to lie, and communicate your feelings and concerns in a calm and constructive manner.

It is also important to set clear boundaries and expectations for honesty in your relationships with others.


In conclusion, lying statistics show that lying is a common human behavior that has been present throughout history. People may lie for many reasons, such as to protect themselves, to gain advantage, or to avoid punishment.

While lying can have negative consequences, it is important to understand why people lie in order to address the underlying issues. By fostering a culture of honesty and open communication, we can help reduce the prevalence of lying in society.


  1. https://www.uab.edu/news/research/item/12398-new-research-shows-most-people-are-honest-except-for-a-few
  2. https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/average-american-tells-4-lies-per-day-survey-says/
  3. https://www.uwlax.edu/currents/how-often-do-people-lie/