How to Calculate a Quintile

How to Calculate a Quintile
••• Choreograph/iStock/GettyImages

Calculating a quintile can help you zero in on interesting and informative patterns in a data set. A quintile is a group of numbers that represents 20 percent of the values that reside in a larger set. A company, for example, may calculate quintiles to discover how much its lowest selling items contribute to the company's total sales.The government, on the other hand, might calculate quintiles to discover how income is distributed between different five different age groups.

    Sort a list of at least five numbers in ascending order and place them in a row, as seen in the following example:

    100, 500, 700, 1200, 1300, 20000, 40000, 55000, 58000, 61000

    Calculate the sum of the values in your data set. The sum of the values in the above example is 237,800.

    Divide the numbers into fifths by drawing lines that separate the quintiles. If you perform this task using the sample data, you’ll see the following:

    100, 500 -------- 700, 1200 -------- 1300, 20000 -------- 40000, 55000 -------- 58000, 61000

    The numbers above each line represent a quintile. In the above example, the numbers in the second quintile are 700 and 1,200. The values 58,000 and 61,000 make up the fifth quintile.

    Divide the fifth quintile’s sum by the data-set sum and multiply the result by 100, as shown in the following example:

    \frac{119000}{237800}× 100 = 50.04

    The result represents the percentage that the fifth quintile contributes to the data set’s total value. In this example, the fifth quintile accounts for over 50 percent of the data set’s total value.

    Repeat this calculation to determine the contribution percentages of the other four percentiles.


    • You can calculate quintiles faster by working in a spreadsheet program. Sort a column of Excel worksheet cells, for instance, by clicking any cell in the column, clicking “Home,” and then clicking “Sort & Filter.” Click “Sort Smallest to Largest” to sort the cells in ascending order.

      You may find it useful to learn the ratio between sum of the values in the lowest quintile and the sum of the values in the highest quintile. Perform that calculation by dividing the last quintile's total value by the first quintile's total value.

Related Articles

How to Figure Survey Percentages
How to Compute a Population Mean
How to Make a Relative Frequency Table
How to Find a Percent of a Fraction
How to Calculate a Sigma Value
How to Use a Calculator to Find Ratios
How to Calculate Statistical Mean
How to Calculate Stanine Scores
How to Calculate a Moving Range
How do I Calculate a Test As 20% of a Grade?
How do I Calculate 0.1%?
How to Calculate a Test Average
How to Calculate a Cumulative Numerical Average
How to Calculate the Mean in a Probability Distribution
How to Find a Z Score
How to Get Your GPA Score
Explain the Mean, Mode & Median
How to Subtract Percentages
How to Get the Average of Decimals
How to Calculate the Percentage Share of Two Different...