What is a Statistical Variable?

The statistical variable is a characteristic or quality that an individual in a population possesses statistics and that it is prone to acquire certain values, which can be measured and are, for example, age, height, weight, etc.

Types of statistical variables

There are different types of statistical variables that are classified according to the characteristics by which they are defined. We distinguish two fundamental groups: qualitative statistical variables and quantitative statistical variables.

Qualitative statistical variable

Qualitative variables are those that have characteristics or qualities that are not represented by numbers but are made with words. We found three subtypes of qualitative variables:

  • Qualitative nominal. It is a type of variables whose characteristics or values ​​do not have a logical order. Example: Names of people, animals, colors, etc.
  • Qualitative ordinal. In this case, if there is an order or a certain hierarchy. Example: Socioeconomic level, level of studies, etc.
  • Qualitative binary. Some statistics place as qualitative those variables that can be two. Example: yes / no answers are the most common.

Quantitative statistical variable

Quantitative variables, for their part, are those whose characteristics or qualities can be represented, expressed or measured by numbers. We also find a subdivision into two main types of quantitative variables:

  • Discrete quantitative. That variable that uses integers and not finite numbers to express its result as an answer. Example: People who make up a family household, age of the respondent, etc.
  • Continuous quantitative. For its part, this type of variable uses finite and objective values, as well as decimal numbers. That is, it represents all numbers in general. Example: Weight of a person, height in meters of a person, etc.

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