20-country study finds personality is more important  than good looks in a romantic partner
December 5th, 2017, Antonia Stockwell

20-country study finds personality is more important than good looks in a romantic partner

Indian men seek similar interests as their most favoured characteristic, while Indian women prefer a good personality

A new international YouGov study into the characteristics people most prefer in a romantic partner has found that personality is most likely to be favoured over good looks worldwide.

The YouGov Omnibus study, which surveyed YouGov panellists online across 20 different countries, asked respondents - when considering what they look for in a romantic partner - would they rank personality more important than good looks or good looks more important than personality?

The verdict worldwide was unanimous among women in particular with the majority of females ranking personality higher than good looks in every country. Among men however, Vietnam was the only country where good looks are considered to outshine personality in particular with 46% of Vietnamese men ranking personality as important.

Women in Nordic countries were the most likely choose personality over good looks globally, compared to those in Asian countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand who were the least likely to agree.


The study found that the biggest differences in opinion between the world’s men and women on the topic were in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 55% of Egyptian men rank personality more important than looks compared to 83% of women, while 52% of Saudi men rank personality higher than looks compared to 79% of women.

In India, 75% of women rank personality as more important than good looks, compared to 58% of men. The study also asked respondents to prioritise the importance of six different attributes in a romantic partner according to their personal preferences.

For women, having a ‘personality I like’ is the most highly sought-after characteristic, with 46% of Indian women ranking it as their first or second priority to look for. Intelligence follows very closely as the second most favoured with 45% of women ranking it in the same way, whilst good humour is the third most important according to 39% of female respondents.

Meanwhile for men, it’s a different story. Despite choosing personality over good looks specifically, the most important characteristic they look for in a romantic partner is actually that they ‘have similar interests to me’ with 43% of Indian men ranking it as their first or second priority. Personality is the second highest rated priority, according to 41% of men, followed by good humour ranked the same for 39% of men.

The results show that having or making a decent amount of money is by far the least prioritised characteristic by both men and women in India, with 78% and 62% ranking it in fifth or sixth place respectively.


All of the surveys were conducted online by YouGov Omnibus, and in many of the countries the internet penetration is low to the point where the sample can only be said to be representative of the online population. The countries where the online population is lower than 60% of the total are Egypt, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Data was collected among 1,015 residents in India between 2 – 16 August 2017. Data is broadly representative of the Urban adult online population in India.

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