The range is defined as the difference between the maximum and minimum values in a set of numbers.

Range = Highest value – Lowest value.


Find the range in the following set of data: 12, 6, 19, 8, 24, 16, 36, 9, 40, 6, 50, 48, 12.


Highest/Maximum value = 50
Lowest/Minimum value = 6
⸫ Range = 50 – 6
= 44.

Characteristics of Range

  1. The range is easy to understand and simple to calculate because its value is determined by the two extreme items.
  2. Its value may greatly change if an extreme value (either highest or lowest) is withdrawn or a fresh value is added. It is a highly unstable measure of dispersion.
  3. It gives no indication of how the values within the two extremes are distributed.

Merits of Range

  1. It is very easy to calculate and simple to understand.
  2. It is rigidly defined.
  3. It is the least time-consuming measure of dispersion.

Demerits of Range

  1. It is not based on all the items in the distribution. Therefore, it is not reliable.
  2. It is too affected by the extreme values.
  3. It is too affected by sampling fluctuations.
  4. It cannot be computed in the case of open-end distribution.
  5. It does not reveal anything about the variability of other data.

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