Do you have an account on Facebook? Try this.
Go to facebook.com/me/friends and note the number of friends that you have as calculated by Facebook. Now count the number of profiles listed on the page as that is actual number of friends you have on Facebook. The two numbers may not always match with each other.
Why would that happen?
The reason is simple. If you are friends with John Q Public on Facebook and he later decides to delete or deactivate his Facebook account, that “ghost” profile will still remain a part of your Facebook friends circle. You need to manually “unfriend” all these deactivated profiles for Facebook to reflect the correct friend count.
The other problem is these deactivated “ghost” profiles won’t show up in your Facebook friends list so how do you break the connection with them? Here’s a workaround:
Hit the search box on the page and type a letter. Facebook will now show all friends that have that letter anywhere in the name and the one difference is that Facebook will now list even the deactivated profiles in the search results.
You can easily recognize the deactivated profiles as they will have the default Facebook silhouette for their profile picture. Unfriend these non-existent profiles one by one and repeat the search with another alphabet.
Update: Dayal Purohit writes why he would not prefer to remove the “deactivated” profiles from his Facebook list:
If someone has deactivated, it does not mean that person has permanently deleted his/her Facebook account. Also only you can see which of your friends have deactivated their facebook accounts temporarily for whatever reason.
No one who can see your friends list knows it. Also even when deactivated, the account retains all relations with respect to ‘lists’ that you maintain. unless the person who has deactivated his/her Facebook account has no importance to you, it is not necessary to remove that person from friends list.
Personally, I am less inclined to have “deactivated” profiles in my circle. ↓