Discrete and Continuous Data

Data can be Descriptive (like "high" or "fast") or Numerical (numbers).

And Numerical Data can be Discrete or Continuous:

Discrete data is counted,
Continuous data is measured

Discrete Data

Discrete Data can only take certain values.

Example: the number of students in a class (you can't have half a student).

pair dice

Example: the results of rolling 2 dice:

can only have the values 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

Continuous Data

Tape Measure

Continuous Data can take any value (within a range)


  • A person's height: could be any value (within the range of human heights), not just certain fixed heights,
  • Time in a race: you could even measure it to fractions of a second,
  • A dog's weight,
  • The length of a leaf,
  • Lots more!