Overview for Stem-and-Leaf Plot

Use Stem-and-Leaf Plot to examine the shape and spread of sample data. A stem-and-leaf plot is similar to a histogram that is turned on its side. However, instead of displaying bars, a stem-and-leaf plot displays digits from the actual data values to denote the frequency of each bin (row). A stem-and-leaf plot works best when the sample size is less than approximately 50.

For example, the following stem-and-leaf plot shows the daily high temperatures for the month of June.

Stem-and-Leaf Display: Temperature

Stem-and-leaf of Temperature N = 30 3 6 899 4 7 0 6 7 33 10 7 4455 15 7 66777 15 7 88 13 8 00 11 8 223 8 8 44 6 8 667 3 8 8 2 9 01 Leaf Unit = 1

Where to find this graph

To create a stem-and-leaf plot, choose Graph > Stem-and-Leaf.

When to use an alternate graph

Because a stem-and-leaf plot represents each data value, it is best when the sample size is less than approximately 50. If the sample is greater than 50, the data points on the plot may extend too far, and the distribution may be difficult to assess. If you have more than 50 data points, consider using a boxplot or a histogram.

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