in descriptive statistics, a box plot or boxplot is a method for graphically demonstrating the locality, spread and skewness groups of numerical data through their quartiles. in the most straight-forward method, the boundary of the lower whisker is the minimum value of the data set, and the boundary of the upper whisker is the maximum value of the data set. on some box plots, a cross-hatch is placed before the end of each whisker.

[12] the width of the notch is arbitrarily chosen to be visually pleasing, and should be consistent amongst all box plots being displayed on the same page. the median of this ordered data set is 70 °f. similarly, the lower whisker boundary of the box plot is the smallest data value that is within 1.5 iqr below the first quartile. similarly, the minimum value in this data set is 52 °f, and 1.5 iqr below the first quartile is 52.5 °f.

## box plot format

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## box plot guide

a box and whisker plot (or box plot) is a convenient way of visually displaying the data distribution through their quartiles. the lines extending parallel from the boxes are known as the “whiskers”, which are used to indicate variability outside the upper and lower quartiles. outliers are sometimes plotted as individual dots that are in-line with whiskers. box plots can be drawn either vertically or horizontally. although box plots may seem primitive in comparison to a histogram or density plot, they have the advantage of taking up less space, which is useful when comparing distributions between many groups or datasets. code-based: anychart (js) canvasjs (js) fusioncharts google charts (html5) jscharting (js) mike bostock’s block (d3) plotly (python) python graph gallery (python: seaborn) react graph gallery (react/js) r graph gallery (r) vega vega-lite zingchart (js) webapp: answerminer flourish plotdb rawgraphs desktop app: microsoft excel stata tableau

a box plot (aka box and whisker plot) uses boxes and lines to depict the distributions of one or more groups of numeric data. on the downside, a box plot’s simplicity also sets limitations on the density of data that it can show. when a data distribution is symmetric, you can expect the median to be in the exact center of the box: the distance between q1 and q2 should be the same as between q2 and q3. they are compact in their summarization of data, and it is easy to compare groups through the box and whisker markings’ positions.

there are multiple ways of defining the maximum length of the whiskers extending from the ends of the boxes in a box plot. this can help aid the at-a-glance aspect of the box plot, to tell if data is symmetric or skewed. as noted above, when you want to only plot the distribution of a single group, it is recommended that you use a histogram rather than a box plot. one alternative to the box plot is the violin plot. violin plots are used to compare the distribution of data between groups.