Box Plot


  • A box and whisker plot—also called a box plot—displays the five-number summary of a set of data. The five-number summary is the minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum.
  • In a box plot, we draw a box from the first quartile to the third quartile. A vertical line goes through the box at the median. The whiskers go from each quartile to the minimum or maximum.


  • 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.

Term and Formula

  • Interquartile Range (IQR)
  • Minium = Q1 - 1.5*IQR
  • Maximum = Q3 + 1.5*IQR


  • The box plot allows quick graphical examination of one or more data sets.


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