This article is part of the Stata for Students series. If you are new to Stata we strongly recommend reading all the articles in the Stata Basics section.
This page contains links to articles describing the statistical topics covered in Economics 310 at UW-Madison. The articles assume you're already familiar with the basics of Stata, especially Managing Stata Files and Doing Your Work Using Do Files.
SSCC staff try to keep this list up-to-date, but you instructor may add to or take away from it at any time and information you receive from him or her about what material you are responsible for always takes priority.
Summary Statistics for a Single Quantitative Variable
For a variable that describes quantities (like income) the mean tells you what the expected value of the variable is, and the standard deviation tells you how much it varies. However, the median and percentiles often give you a better sense of how the variable is distributed, especially for variables that are not symmetric (like income, which often has a few very high values). These are also univariate statistics.
Quantitative variables are often called continuous variables. Means are often called averages, and variance is just the standard deviation squared. The median is also the 50th percentile.
Last Revised: 11/22/2016