A **five number summary **is a way to summarize a dataset using the following five values:

- The minimum
- The first quartile
- The median
- The third quartile
- The maximum

The five number summary is useful because it provides a concise summary of the distribution of the data in the following ways:

- It tells us where the middle value is located, using the median.
- It tells us how spread out the data is, using the first and third quartiles.
- It tells us the range of the data, using the minimum and the maximum.

This tutorial explains how to quickly calculate a five number summary for a dataset in SPSS.

**Example: Five Number Summary in SPSS**

Suppose we have the following dataset in SPSS that displays the annual income (in thousands) of 15 individuals:

To calculate the five number summary for this dataset, click the **Analyze **tab, then **Descriptive Statistics**, then **Frequencies**:

In the new window that pops up, drag the variable **income **into the box labelled Variable(s).

Next, click the **Statistics **button. Make sure each of the following boxes is checked:

- Quartiles
- Minimum
- Maximum
- Median

Then click **Continue**.

Then click **OK**. The five number summary results will appear:

From the results we can see the five number summary for this dataset is as follows:

- The minimum:
**18** - The first quartile:
**34.00** - The median:
**54.00** - The third quartile:
**85.00** - The maximum:
**108**

**Additional Resources**

Five Number Summary Calculator

How to Calculate a Five Number Summary in Excel