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Quantitative Data (Mathematics Glossary)

What Is Quantitative Data?

Quantitative data is data that is described in numbers.

Quantitative data can be counted or measured.

Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines quantitative as "relating to or concerned with quantity or its measurement."

Real Examples of Quantitative Data

  • A teacher collects the test scores of their class.

    The test scores of the pupils are quantitative data. You can count the test scores of each pupil and express it as a number.

  • A person measures the heights of other people.

    The people's heights are quantitative data. You can measure a height and express it as a number.

Types of Quantitative Data

There are two types of quantitative data: discrete and continuous data.
  • Discrete data can only take certain values. It can (often) be counted.

    Test scores are an example of discrete data. A student can only get a whole number of marks. (They can not get 5⅘, for example).

  • Continuous data can take any value (within a range). Continuous data can (often) be measured.

    Heights are an example of continous data. A height does not have to be a whole number of inches (69 inches or 70 inches). It can fall inbetween (69 and 3/8ths of an inch, for example).
The slider below gives more information about discrete and continuous data:
Interactive Test

Here's a second test on quantitative data.
Here's a third test on quantitative data.

Other Types of Data

Quantitative data is only one type of data.

The other type of data is qualitative data. This is data described in words.

Numerical Data

Another name for quantitative data is numerical data. Numerical means related to numbers.