Variable and Attribute

The character of the statistical information collected is of two typesquantitative and qualitative.

Variable:The quantitative character of the statistical information is called variable.  The variable can always be measured.  Hence the variable can be stated in numerical terms For example: Height is 5’6’’.  Weight is 56 kg.  Age is 29 years.  Monthly income is Rs.5000/- per months.

The qualitative character of the statistical information is known as attribute.  An attribute can not be measured.  Hence they can not be stated in numerical terms but can only be classified under different categories. For example:-Religion or Mother tongue can be measured but can be classified into different categories  The religion can be classified in to different category such as Hindu,Muslim,Buddhist,Christian etc.  The Mother tongue can be categorised in to Bengali,Hindi,Tamil,Panjabi etc.

Types of variable
Variable can be classified in two types 1) Continuous variable 2) Discrete variable

Continuous variable
A variable is said to be continuous when it can take any value within a specified interval. For example: The height of an individual may be 65.2 inches, it may be 65.23 inches or it also may be 65.22709 inches.  Weight may be 58 kg, or may be 58.72 kg or it also may be 58.75986 kg.  The age may be 27 years, it may be 27 years 9 months or it also may be 27 years 9 months 23 days.

Discrete variable
A discrete variable can take only some isolated values or whole numbers, it can not take any fractional value. For example: Total number of member is a family is an example of discrete variable, since it may me either 2 or 3 or 4or 5 or 6 and so on. It can not take fractional value, for example ,we can not speak that the number of member in a family is 4.2 or 5.3 it will be either 4 or 5.  Similarly the total number of student in a class can not be 26.4 or 27.1 it will be either 26 or 27 i.e. a whole number.

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