How to Create Side-by-Side Boxplots in SPSS


Side-by-side boxplots are a useful way to compare the distribution of data values in multiple groups at once.

This tutorial explains how to create the following side-by-side boxplots in SPSS:

side-by-side boxplots in SPSS

Let’s jump in!

Example: How to Create Side-by-Side Boxplots in SPSS

Suppose we have the following dataset in SPSS that contains information about points scored by basketball players on three different teams:

Suppose that we would like to create side-by-side boxplots to visualize the distribution of points scored by players on each team.

To do so, click the Graphs tab, then click Boxplot:

In the new window that appears, click the Simple icon, then click Define:

In the new window that appears, drag Points to the Variable panel, then drag Team to the Category Axis panel:

Once you click OK, the following side-by-side boxplots will be created:

side-by-side boxplots in SPSS

The x-axis displays each unique team name and the y-axis displays the points for each team.

Note that the line inside of each boxplot represents the median while the length of the box represents the interquartile range.

From viewing the boxplots we can see that team C has the highest median points per player while team A has the lowest median points per player.

We can also see that team B has the largest interquartile range, which represents the difference between the 75th percentile and 25th percentile of points scored.

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in SPSS:

How to Plot Histograms by Group in SPSS
How to Create Q-Q Plots in SPSS
How to Create a Scatterplot with Regression Line in SPSS

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