Frequency Distribution - Definition, Types, Examples (2023)

A frequency distribution shows the frequency of repeated items in a graphical form or tabular form. It gives a visual display of the frequency of items or shows the number of times they occurred. Let's learn about frequency distribution in this article in detail.

1.What is Frequency Distribution?
2.Frequency Distribution Graphs
3.Types of Frequency Distribution
4.Frequency Distribution Tables
5.FAQs on Frequency Distribution

What is Frequency Distribution?

Frequency distribution is used to organize the collected data in table form. The data could be marks scored by students, temperatures of different towns, points scored in a volleyball match, etc. After data collection, we have to show data in a meaningful manner for better understanding. Organize the data in such a way that all its features are summarized in a table. This is known as frequency distribution.

Let's consider an example to understand this better. The following are the scores of 10 students in the G.K. quiz released by Mr. Chris 15, 17, 20, 15, 20, 17, 17, 14, 14, 20. Let's represent this data in frequency distribution and find out the number of students who got the same marks.

Quiz MarksNo. of Students

We can see that all the collected data is organized under the column quiz marks and the number of students. This makes it easier to understand the given information and we can see that the number of students who obtained the same marks. Thus, frequency distribution in statistics helps us to organize the data in an easy way to understand its features at a glance.

(Video) Lesson 5 - Frequency Distribution Table in Statistics

Frequency Distribution Graphs

There is another way to show data that is in the form of graphs and it can be done by using a frequency distribution graph. The graphs help us to understand the collected data in an easy way. The graphical representation of a frequency distribution can be shown using the following:

  • Bar Graphs: Bar graphs represent data using rectangular bars of uniform width along with equal spacing between the rectangular bars.
  • Histograms: A histogram is a graphical presentation of data using rectangular bars of different heights. In a histogram, there is no space between the rectangular bars.
  • Pie Chart: A pie chart is a type of graph that visually displays data in a circular chart. It records data in a circular manner and then it is further divided into sectors that show a particular part of data out of the whole part.
  • Frequency Polygon: A frequency polygon is drawn by joining the mid-points of the bars in a histogram.

Types of Frequency Distribution

There are four types of frequency distribution under statistics which are explained below:

  • Ungrouped frequency distribution: It shows the frequency of an item in each separate data value rather than groups of data values.
  • Grouped frequency distribution: In this type, the data is arranged and separated into groups called class intervals. The frequency of data belonging to each class interval is noted in a frequency distribution table. The grouped frequency table shows the distribution of frequencies in class intervals.
  • Relative frequency distribution: It tells the proportion of the total number of observations associated with each category.
  • Cumulative frequency distribution: It is the sum of the first frequency and all frequencies below it in a frequency distribution. You have to add a value with the next value then add the sum with the next value again and so on till the last. The last cumulative frequency will be the total sum of all frequencies.

Frequency Distribution Table

A frequency distribution table is a chart that shows the frequency of each of the items in a data set. Let's consider an example to understand how to make a frequency distribution table using tally marks. A jar containing beads of different colors- red, green, blue, black, red, green, blue, yellow, red, red, green, green, green, yellow, red, green, yellow. To know the exact number of beads of each particular color, we need to classify the beads into categories. An easy way to find the number of beads of each color is to use tally marks. Pick the beads one by one and enter the tally marks in the respective row and column. Then, indicate the frequency for each item in the table.

Frequency Distribution - Definition, Types, Examples (1)

(Video) Frequency distribution | Types of Frequency Distributions | Great Learning

Thus, the table so obtained is called a frequency distribution table.

Types of Frequency Distribution Table

There are two types of frequency distribution tables: Grouped and ungrouped frequency distribution tables.

Grouped Frequency Distribution Table: To arrange a large number of observations or data, we use grouped frequency distribution table. In this, we form class intervals to tally the frequency for the data that belongs to that particular class interval.

For example, Marks obtained by 20 students in the test are as follows. 5, 10, 20, 15, 5, 20, 20, 15, 15, 15, 10, 10, 10, 20, 15, 5, 18, 18, 18, 18. To arrange the data in grouped table we have to make class intervals. Thus, we will make class intervals of marks like 0 – 5, 6 – 10, and so on. Given below table shows two columns one is of class intervals (marks obtained in test) and the second is of frequency (no. of students). In this, we have not used tally marks as we counted the marks directly.

Marks obtained in Test (class intervals)No. of Students (Frequency)
0 – 53
6 – 104
11 – 155
16 – 208

Ungrouped Frequency Distribution Table: In the ungrouped frequency distribution table, we don't make class intervals, we write the accurate frequency of individual data. Considering the above example, the ungrouped table will be like this. Given below table shows two columns: one is of marks obtained in the test and the second is of frequency (no. of students).

Marks obtained in TestNo. of Students

Important Notes:

(Video) Frequency Distribution /Definition/Types/ Relative / Cumulative Frequency Distribution

Following are the important points related to frequency distribution.

  • Figures or numbers collected for some definite purpose is called data.
  • Frequency is the value in numbers that shows how often a particular item occurs in the given data set.
  • There are two types of frequency table - Grouped Frequency Distribution and Ungrouped Frequency Distribution.
  • Data can be shown using graphs like histograms, bar graphs, frequency polygons, and so on.

Related Articles on Frequency Distribution

To learn more about the frequency distribution, check the given articles.

  • Data
  • Frequency Distribution Table
  • Data Handling
  • Histograms
  • Bar Graphs
  • Statistics

FAQs on Frequency Distribution

What is a Frequency Distribution in Math?

In statistics, the frequency distribution is a graph or data set organized to represent the frequency of occurrence of each possible outcome of an event that is observed a specific number of times. Frequency distribution is a tabular or graphical representation of the data that shows the frequency of all the observations.

What are the 2 Types of Frequency Distribution Table?

The 2 types of frequency distributions are:

(Video) Types of Frequency Distribution | Statistics

  • Ungrouped frequency distribution
  • Grouped frequency distribution

Why are Frequency Distributions Important?

Frequency charts are the best way to organize data. Doctors use it to understand the frequency of diseases. Sports analysts use it to understand the performance of a sportsperson. Wherever you have a large amount of data, frequency distribution makes it easy to analyze the data.

How do you find Frequency Distribution?

Follow the steps to find frequency distribution:

  • Step 1: To make a frequency chart, first, write the categories in the first column.
  • Step 2: In the next step, tally the score in the second column.
  • Step 3: And finally, count the tally to write the frequency of each category in the third column.

Thus, in this way, we can find the frequency distribution of an event.

What is the Difference Between Frequency Table and Frequency Distribution?

The frequency table is a tabular method where the frequency is assigned to its respective category. Whereas, a frequency distribution is known as the graphical representation of the frequency table.

What is Grouped Frequency Distribution?

A grouped frequency distribution shows the scores by grouping the observations into intervals and then lists these intervals in the frequency distribution table. The intervals in grouped frequency distribution are called class limits.

What is Ungrouped Frequency Distribution?

The ungrouped frequency distribution is a type of frequency distribution that displays the frequency of each individual data value instead of groups of data values. In this type of frequency distribution, we can directly see how often different values occurred in the table.

(Video) 1.1 | Frequency distribution | Classification of Data | continuous frequency Distribution

What are the Components of Frequency Distribution?

The components of the frequency distribution are as follows:

  • Class interval
  • Types of class interval
  • Class boundaries
  • Midpoint or classmark
  • Width or size of class interval
  • Class frequency
  • Frequency class width


What are the 4 types of frequency distribution? ›

Types of Frequency Distribution

Ungrouped frequency distribution. Cumulative frequency distribution. Relative frequency distribution. Relative cumulative frequency distribution.

What are examples for frequency distribution? ›

Pie charts, bar charts, and histograms are all ways of graphing frequency distributions.

What is frequency distribution and types? ›

A frequency distribution is a representation, either in a graphical or tabular format, that displays the number of observations within a given interval. The frequency is how often a value occurs in an interval while the distribution is the pattern of frequency of the variable.

What are the 3 types of measures of frequency analysis? ›

Most popular measures of central tendency used for frequency analysis are Mean, Median and Mode.

What are the 2 types of frequency distribution table? ›

There are two main types of frequency distributions used in data analysis: relative frequency distributions and cumulative frequency distributions. Both hinge upon frequency, which in descriptive statistics, is the number of times something occurs within a given data set.

What are three examples of frequency? ›

Examples: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. every second, once a minute, twice a year. once, twice, once or twice, three times.

What are the 4 basic properties to describe any frequency distribution? ›


Measures of central tendency and location (mean, median, mode) Measures of dispersion (range, variance, standard deviation) The extent of symmetry/asymmetry (skewness) The flatness or peakedness (kurtosis).

How many types of frequency are there? ›

The different types of frequency distributions are ungrouped frequency distributions, grouped frequency distributions, cumulative frequency distributions, and relative frequency distributions.

What are 4 types of distributions and what are their shapes? ›

When we describe shapes of distributions, we commonly use words like symmetric, left-skewed, right-skewed, bimodal, and uniform.

What are three frequency distributions? ›

There are three types of frequency distributions. Categorical frequency distributions, group frequency distributions and on group frequency distributions.

What are the 3 major decisions to make when creating a frequency distribution? ›

In summary, follow these basic rules when constructing a frequency distribution table for a data set that contains a large number of observations:
  • find the lowest and highest values of the variables.
  • decide on the width of the class intervals.
  • include all possible values of the variable.
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