Cumulative Frequency Tables

What Is a Cumulative Frequency Table?

A cumulative frequency table is a frequency table with a running total of the frequencies.

A frequency table shows how often - how frequently - each number appears in a list of numbers.

Imagine you had a set of numbers:

A cumulative frequency table is a way to present this data:

Understanding the Cumulative Frequency Table

A cumulative frequency is a frequency table with a Cumulative frequency column.

Let's look again at our list of numbers (rearranged in order and each number counted):

  • The Number column of the frequency table contains each number in this list.

  • The Frequency column of the frequency table contains how often each number appears in this list.

This gives us a frequency table:

  • The Cumulative frequency column keeps a running total on the frequency.

    • The cumulative frequency in the first row is equal to the frequency:

    • The cumulative frequency in the second row is found by adding the frequency in this row to all the frequencies above:

      Note: It is also found by adding the frequency in this row to the cumulative frequency above.

    • The cumulative frequency in the third row is found by adding the frequency in this row to all the frequencies above:

      Note: It is also found by adding the frequency in this row to the cumulative frequency above.

    • The cumulative frequency table is complete when all the cumulative frequencies have been entered:

Other Types of Frequency Table

  • A frequency table shows how often (how frequently) each number appears in a list of numbers.

  • A grouped frequency table groups numbers together. It shows you how often numbers within each group appear in a list of numbers.

  • A cumulative grouped frequency table is a grouped frequency table that has another column which keeps a running total of the frequencies.

See Also

What is a frequency table? Making a frequency table What is a grouped frequency table? What is a cumulative grouped frequency table?