Statistics How To

Make a Frequency Chart and Determine Frequency

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Descriptive Statistics > Make a Frequency Chart

Make a Frequency Chart: Overview

If you are asked to determine a frequency in statistics, it doesn’t just mean that you should just count out the number of times something happens. It usually involves you having to make a frequency chart to display a list of frequencies.

A frequency table.



  • A frequency is the number of times a data value occurs. For example, if four people have an IQ of between 118 and 125, then an IQ of 118 to 125 has a frequency of 4. Frequency is often represented by the letter f.
  • A frequency chart is made by arranging data values in ascending order of magnitude along with their frequencies.

Make a Frequency Chart: Steps

Step 1: Draw a chart for your data. For this example, you’ve been given a list of twenty blood types for emergency surgery patients:

  • A, O, A, B, B, AB, B, B, O, A, O, O, O, AB, B, AB, AB, A, O, A.

Write “frequency (#)” and “percent (%)” on the top row. Write your list of items in the first column. In this example, we have four distinct blood types: A, B, AB, and O.

making a frequency chart

Step 2: Count the number of times each item appears in your data.
In this example, we have:

  • A appears 5 times.
  • B appears 5 times.
  • O appears 6 times.
  • AB appears 4 times.

Write those in the “number” column (#). This is your frequency.

Step 3:Use the formula % = (f / n) × 100 to fill in the next column. In this example:

  • n = total amount of items in your data = 20.
  • f = frequency (the number of times the item appears).

“A” appears
5 times . So we have:

(5 / 20) × 100 = 25%

Fill in the rest of the frequency column, changing the ‘f’ for each blood type.

statistics frequency chart

That’s it!

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References

Beyer, W. H. CRC Standard Mathematical Tables, 31st ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 536 and 571, 2002.
Agresti A. (1990) Categorical Data Analysis. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Everitt, B. S.; Skrondal, A. (2010), The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics, Cambridge University Press.
Lindstrom, D. (2010). Schaum’s Easy Outline of Statistics, Second Edition (Schaum’s Easy Outlines) 2nd Edition. McGraw-Hill Education

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Stephanie Glen. "Make a Frequency Chart and Determine Frequency" From StatisticsHowTo.com: Elementary Statistics for the rest of us! https://www.statisticshowto.com/how-to-make-a-frequency-chart-and-determine-frequency/
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