Types of Variables and Types of Data

Today i will teach you about the types of variables and types of data

Variables can be classified as qualitative or quantitative.

Qualitative variables are variables that have distinct categories according to some characteristic or attribute.

For example, if subjects are classified according to gender (male or female), then the variable gender is qualitative. Other examples of qualitative variables are religious preference and geographic locations.

Quantitative variables are variables that can be counted or measured.

For example, the variable age is numerical, and people can be ranked in order according to the value of their ages. Other examples of quantitative variables are heights, weights, and body temperatures.

Quantitative variables can be further classified into two groups: discrete and continuous. Discrete variables can be assigned values such as 0, 1, 2, 3 and are said to be countable. Examples of discrete variables are the number of children in a family, the number of students in a classroom, and the number of calls received by a call center each day for a month.

Discrete variables assume values that can be counted.

Continuous variables, by comparison, can assume an infinite number of values in an interval between any two specific values. Temperature, for example, is a continuous variable, since the variable can assume an infinite number of values between any two given temperatures.

Continuous variables can assume an infinite number of values between any two specific values. They are obtained by measuring. They often include fractions and decimals.

The classification of variables can be summarized as follows:

EXAMPLE 1–2Discrete or Continuous Data

Classify each variable as a discrete or continuous variable.

  1. The number of hours during a week that children ages 12 to 15 reported that they watched television.
  2. The number of touchdowns a quarterback scored each year in his college football career.
  3. The amount of money a person earns per week working at a fast-food restaurant.
  4. The weights of the football players on the teams that play in the NFL this year.


  1. Continuous, since the variable time is measured
  2. Discrete, since the number of touchdowns is counted
  3. Discrete, since the smallest value that money can assume is in cents
  4. Continuous, since the variable weight is measured

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