A frequency distribution, also called a frequency table, can be used to organize raw qualitative and quantitative data. A table is used to organize the data.

The information usually indicates the frequency or the number of times each item is displayed.

In the previous lesson, we displayed raw smartphone type data per family.

Qualitative raw data

As you can see in the raw data there are 4 groups or categories. These are Iphone, Android, Windows Phone and Amazon Fire Phone.

A frequency distribution table could organize the information as shown below.

Number of people who own an iPhone.

Number of people who own an Android.

Number of people who own an Amazon fire phone.

Number of people who own a Windows phone.

The frequency table for qualitative data shows all categories and the frequency with which each category occurs.

How to create a frequency distribution table

Now all you have to do is count the frequency of each category using tick marks.


Choose a category. Make a line mark every time you see an occurrence in this category.

For the sake of simplicity, the counts are marked in a block of 5.

Using tick marks, here is a frequency table for the above data.

Frequency distribution table

Notice that the variable is the type of smartphone and a qualitative variable.

A category is a type of smartphone. For example, Iphone is a category.

The categories are mutually exclusive. In other words, each person has only one type of smartphone.

The frequency of the Windows phone is 8.

The letter f is used to represent frequency.

There is a difference between frequency and frequency distribution.

The frequency shows the frequency of only one category.

The frequency distribution shows the frequency of all categories.


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