Statistics and Probability Dictionary

Select a term from the dropdown text box. The online statistics glossary will display a definition, plus links to other related web pages.

Select term:       

Categorical Variable

Variables can be classified as categorical (aka, qualitative) or quantitative (aka, numerical).

  • Categorical. Categorical variables take on values that are names or labels. The color of a ball (e.g., red, green, blue) or the breed of a dog (e.g., collie, shepherd, terrier) would be examples of categorical variables.

  • Quantitative. Quantitative variables are numerical. They represent a measurable quantity. For example, when we speak of the population of a city, we are talking about the number of people in the city - a measurable attribute of the city. Therefore, population would be a quantitative variable.
See also:  AP Statistics Tutorial: Variables