# Online Encyclopedia

# Summary statistics

In descriptive statistics, **summary statistics** are used to summarize a set of observations, in order to communicate as much as possible as simply as possible. Statisticians commonly try to describe the observations in

- a measure of location, or central tendency, such as the arithmetic mean, median, mode, or interquartile mean
- a measure of statistical dispersion like the standard deviation, variance, range, or interquartile range, or absolute deviation.
- a measure of the shape of the distribution like skewness or kurtosis

The Gini coefficient was originally developed to measure income inequality, but can be used for other purposes as well.

*See also:* descriptive statistics, statistical theory

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45