# What is the difference between continuous and discrete data?

##### 1 Answer

Nov 6, 2015

If a variable can take on **any value** between its minimum value and its maximum value, it is called a **continuous** variable; otherwise, it is called a **discrete** variable.

#### Explanation:

For example, gathering daily **temperature** data of a fresh water lake over 30 days. Temperature is a continuous variable since it can be any value from 0 degrees Centigrade or higher including any fraction of a degree (such as, 28.38591 degrees).

**Tossing a die** with faces equal to 1 through 6 is an example of a discrete variable. The toss can only result in one of those 6 values and nothing in between (that is, you can't roll a 3.5). So, gathering data on 3 tosses of a die is an example of discrete data.

hope that helped