# Graphing Histograms with # Bins (General Question)

1. Oct 1, 2013

### doubled

If you're given a set of data and asked to plot the histogram with x amount of bins. How do you determine which range each bin covers?

2. Oct 1, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

I think that depends on what you're trying to show.

Say you had data for a whole range of people from infants to centenarians.

You could bin by:
- every ten years
- every 20 years

or you could define age ranges:
- infants 0-8 years
- preteens 9-15
- teens 16-21
- yuppies 22-50,
- baby boomers 51-64
- seniors 65-80
- centenarians 81-100+

The binning choice is yours use it wisely to convey what you need to convey.

3. Oct 1, 2013

### doubled

Thanks. The width of each bin should be the same right?

4. Oct 2, 2013

### Ray Vickson

No, not necessarily. Look at the previous posting. Are the bin widths for teens the same as for yuppies or baby boomers?

5. Oct 2, 2013

### doubled

Ah I see. I see. So I guess it's a subjective thing.

I was given a problem with the following 10 data ptns:
289.1 269.6 270.7 277.5 279 267.8 283.7 271 261.9 282.6

I attached this problem.

I was asked to "calculate and plot the histogram with 3 bins."
I'm not sure what they mean by calculate. Think it's just an unnecessary word in the instructions.

Anyway, I was given a template for the plot. On the x-axis the template they gave goes from 260-290 in increments of 5. So from common sense I would have my ranges as 260-270, 270-280, 290-300.

If you're given a template with the maximum and minimum values, would it set the range as the (maximum-minimum)/# of bins?

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