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Concept

Box Plot

A box plot or box and whisker plot can be used to illustrate the distribution of a data set. A box plot has three parts.
  • A rectangular box that extends from the first to the third quartiles and with a line between and indicating the position of the median.
  • A segment attached to the left of the box that extends from the first quartile to the minimum of the data set.
  • A segment attached to the right of the box that extends from the third quartile to the maximum of the data set.

A box plot is a scaled figure, usually presented above a number line. The set of numbers used to draw the box plot is called the five-number summary of the data set. Each of the five numbers is labeled accordingly.

Boxplot shown above a number line with a five-number summary from left to right as 1, 3, 5, 8, 10.

A box plot provides a visual illustration of the distribution of a data set. Each segment of the chart contains one quarter, or of the data, and the center of the data lies inside the box. The further apart the segments are, the greater the spread is for that quarter of the data.