# What is the sum of the probabilities in a probability distribution?

##### 1 Answer

The sum of the probabilities in a probability distribution is always 1.

A probability distribution is a collection of probabilities that defines the likelihood of observing all of the various outcomes of an event or experiment. Based on this definition, a probability distribution has two important properties that are always true:

- Each probability in the distribution must be of a value between 0 and 1.
- The sum of all the probabilities in the distribution must be equal to 1.

**An example:** You could define a probability distribution for the observation for the number displayed by a single roll of a die. The probability that the die with show a "1" is

That's because there are six possible outcomes, and only one of those outcomes is a "1". Lets label the probabilities of all the possible outcomes for the single die.

Roll a "1": Probability is

Roll a "2": Probability is

Roll a "3": Probability is

Roll a "4": Probability is

Roll a "5": Probability is

Roll a "6": Probability is

Each probability is between 0 and 1, so the first property of a probability distribution holds true. And the sum of all the probabilities:

so the second property of a probability distribution holds true.