Module 2: Descriptive Statistics

# Stem-and-Leaf Graphs (Stemplots)

Barbara Illowsky & OpenStax et al.

One simple graph, the **stem-and-leaf graph** or **stemplot**, comes from the field of exploratory data analysis. It is a good choice when the data sets are small. To create the plot, divide each observation of data into a stem and a leaf. The leaf consists of a **final significant digit**. For example, 23 has stem two and leaf three. The number 432 has stem 43 and leaf two. Likewise, the number 5,432 has stem 543 and leaf two. The decimal 9.3 has stem nine and leaf three. Write the stems in a vertical line from smallest to largest. Draw a vertical line to the right of the stems. Then write the leaves in increasing order next to their corresponding stem.

For Susan Dean’s spring pre-calculus class, scores for the first exam were as follows (smallest to largest):

33; 42; 49; 49; 53; 55; 55; 61; 63; 67; 68; 68; 69; 69; 72; 73; 74; 78; 80; 83; 88; 88; 88; 90; 92; 94; 94; 94; 94; 96; 100Stem-and-Leaf Graph

Stem | Leaf |
---|---|

3 | 3 |

4 | 2 9 9 |

5 | 3 5 5 |

6 | 1 3 7 8 8 9 9 |

7 | 2 3 4 8 |

8 | 0 3 8 8 8 |

9 | 0 2 4 4 4 4 6 |

10 | 0 |

The stemplot shows that most scores fell in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Eight out of the 31 scores or approximately 26% were in the 90s or 100, a fairly high number of As.

### try it

For the Park City basketball team, scores for the last 30 games were as follows (smallest to largest):

32; 32; 33; 34; 38; 40; 42; 42; 43; 44; 46; 47; 47; 48; 48; 48; 49; 50; 50; 51; 52; 52; 52; 53; 54; 56; 57; 57; 60; 61

Construct a stem plot for the data.

Stem | Leaf |
---|---|

3 | 2 2 3 4 8 |

4 | 0 2 2 3 4 6 7 7 8 8 8 9 |

5 | 0 0 1 2 2 2 3 4 6 7 7 |

6 | 0 1 |

The stemplot is a quick way to graph data and gives an exact picture of the data.

### try it

The following data show the distances (in miles) from the homes of off-campus statistics students to the college. Create a stem plot using the data and identify any outliers:

0.5; 0.7; 1.1; 1.2; 1.2; 1.3; 1.3; 1.5; 1.5; 1.7; 1.7; 1.8; 1.9; 2.0; 2.2; 2.5; 2.6; 2.8; 2.8; 2.8; 3.5; 3.8; 4.4; 4.8; 4.9; 5.2; 5.5; 5.7; 5.8; 8.0

Stem | Leaf |
---|---|

0 | 5 7 |

1 | 1 2 2 3 3 5 5 7 7 8 9 |

2 | 0 2 5 6 8 8 8 |

3 | 5 8 |

4 | 4 8 9 |

5 | 2 5 7 8 |

6 | |

7 | |

8 | 0 |

The value 8.0 may be an outlier. Values appear to concentrate at one and two miles.

Watch this video to see an example of how to create a stem plot.

### Example

A side-by-side stem-and-leaf plot allows a comparison of the two data sets in two columns. In a side-by-side stem-and-leaf plot, two sets of leaves share the same stem. The leaves are to the left and the right of the stems. The two following tables show the ages of presidents at their inauguration and at their death. Construct a side-by-side stem-and-leaf plot using this data.

Presidential Ages at Inauguration:

President | Age | President | Age | President | Age |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Washington | 57 | Lincoln | 52 | Hoover | 54 |

J. Adams | 61 | A. Johnson | 56 | F. Roosevelt | 51 |

Jefferson | 57 | Grant | 46 | Truman | 60 |

Madison | 57 | Hayes | 54 | Eisenhower | 62 |

Monroe | 58 | Garfield | 49 | Kennedy | 43 |

J. Q. Adams | 57 | Arthur | 51 | L. Johnson | 55 |

Jackson | 61 | Cleveland | 47 | Nixon | 56 |

Van Buren | 54 | B. Harrison | 55 | Ford | 61 |

W. H. Harrison | 68 | Cleveland | 55 | Carter | 52 |

Tyler | 51 | McKinley | 54 | Reagan | 69 |

Polk | 49 | T. Roosevelt | 42 | G.H.W. Bush | 64 |

Taylor | 64 | Taft | 51 | Clinton | 47 |

Fillmore | 50 | Wilson | 56 | G. W. Bush | 54 |

Pierce | 48 | Harding | 55 | Obama | 47 |

Buchanan | 65 | Coolidge | 51 |

Presidential Age at Death:

President | Age | President | Age | President | Age |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Washington | 67 | Lincoln | 56 | Hoover | 90 |

J. Adams | 90 | A. Johnson | 66 | F. Roosevelt | 63 |

Jefferson | 83 | Grant | 63 | Truman | 88 |

Madison | 85 | Hayes | 70 | Eisenhower | 78 |

Monroe | 73 | Garfield | 49 | Kennedy | 46 |

J. Q. Adams | 80 | Arthur | 56 | L. Johnson | 64 |

Jackson | 78 | Cleveland | 71 | Nixon | 81 |

Van Buren | 79 | B. Harrison | 67 | Ford | 93 |

W. H. Harrison | 68 | Cleveland | 71 | Reagan | 93 |

Tyler | 71 | McKinley | 58 | ||

Polk | 53 | T. Roosevelt | 60 | ||

Taylor | 65 | Taft | 72 | ||

Fillmore | 74 | Wilson | 67 | ||

Pierce | 64 | Harding | 57 | ||

Buchanan | 77 | Coolidge | 60 |

### Example

The table shows the number of wins and losses the Atlanta Hawks have had in 42 seasons. Create a side-by-side stem-and-leaf plot of these wins and losses.

Losses | Wins | Year | Losses | Wins | Year |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

34 | 48 | 1968–1969 | 41 | 41 | 1989–1990 |

34 | 48 | 1969–1970 | 39 | 43 | 1990–1991 |

46 | 36 | 1970–1971 | 44 | 38 | 1991–1992 |

46 | 36 | 1971–1972 | 39 | 43 | 1992–1993 |

36 | 46 | 1972–1973 | 25 | 57 | 1993–1994 |

47 | 35 | 1973–1974 | 40 | 42 | 1994–1995 |

51 | 31 | 1974–1975 | 36 | 46 | 1995–1996 |

53 | 29 | 1975–1976 | 26 | 56 | 1996–1997 |

51 | 31 | 1976–1977 | 32 | 50 | 1997–1998 |

41 | 41 | 1977–1978 | 19 | 31 | 1998–1999 |

36 | 46 | 1978–1979 | 54 | 28 | 1999–2000 |

32 | 50 | 1979–1980 | 57 | 25 | 2000–2001 |

51 | 31 | 1980–1981 | 49 | 33 | 2001–2002 |

40 | 42 | 1981–1982 | 47 | 35 | 2002–2003 |

39 | 43 | 1982–1983 | 54 | 28 | 2003–2004 |

42 | 40 | 1983–1984 | 69 | 13 | 2004–2005 |

48 | 34 | 1984–1985 | 56 | 26 | 2005–2006 |

32 | 50 | 1985–1986 | 52 | 30 | 2006–2007 |

25 | 57 | 1986–1987 | 45 | 37 | 2007–2008 |

32 | 50 | 1987–1988 | 35 | 47 | 2008–2009 |

30 | 52 | 1988–1989 | 29 | 53 | 2009–2010 |

Solution:

Number of Losses

Atlanta Hawks Wins and Losses | ||
---|---|---|

Number of Wins | ||

3 | 1 | 9 |

9 8 8 6 5 | 2 | 5 5 9 |

8 7 6 6 5 5 4 3 1 1 1 1 0 | 3 | 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 6 6 6 9 9 9 |

8 8 7 6 6 6 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 | 4 | 0 0 1 1 2 4 5 6 6 7 7 8 9 |

7 7 6 3 2 0 0 0 0 | 5 | 1 1 1 2 3 4 4 6 7 |

6 | 9 |