ExplanationWhat is a Frequency Distribution Histogram?
Plotting data is the best way to start to understand it. On this page, we will look at ways of plotting data from a single variable.
Plotting the actual values of a single variable is not always a good way of visualising that data. A useful approach is to count how often each value occurs in the data and plot those counts, which are called frequencies. These frequencies are plotted in a bar chart, known as a histogram. Histograms show how often each value occurs in a sample of data or, for continuous variables, how often values fall into different small ranges. There is an extra help topic below that explains the difference between discrete and continuous values.
Histograms are easy to interpret. Each value that occurs in the data has its own vertical bar in the chart. The height of the bar tells you how many data points in the sample took that value. Here is an example showing the number of children that a sample of 100 people have.
You can immediately see that the number of children runs from 0 to 4 (along the horizontal axis) and that the most common number of children is 2. 42 people have 2 children in this sample.