Go to Statistics Portal


Statistics Directorate    
Quantitative data is data expressing a certain quantity, amount or range. Usually, there are measurement units associated with the data, e.g. metres, in the case of the height of a person. It makes sense to set boundary limits to such data, and it is also meaningful to apply arithmetic operations to the data.

Strictly, this term, as contrasted with qualitative data, should relate to data in the form of numerical quantities such as measurements or counts. It is sometimes, less exactly, used to describe material in which the variables concerned are quantities, e.g. height, weight, price as distinct from data deriving from qualitative attributes, e.g. sex, nationality or commodity.

This usage is to be avoided in favour of such expressions as “data concerning quantitative (qualitative) variables” or “data concerning numerical variables (attributes)”. (A Dictionary of Statistical Terms, 5th edition, prepared for the International Statistical Institute by F.H.C. Marriott. Published for the International Statistical Institute by Longman Scientific and Technical).

Source Publication:
Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UNECE), "Glossary of Terms on Statistical Data Editing", Conference of European Statisticians Methodological material, Geneva, 2000.

Cross References:
Qualitative data


Statistical Theme: Methodological information (metadata)

Glossary Output Segments:

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Tuesday, January 3, 2006