Discrete data is counted whereas continuous data is measured.
Discrete data can only take certain values. Often discrete data is non-numeric such as:
- Eye colour
- Country names
- Favourite food
However there are also examples of discrete data which are numeric.
There are 28 children in the class.
You can’t have half a child.
There are 5 Welsh universities in the top 100 universities in the UK.
Source: The Complete University Guide.
An institution either is, or isn’t a university, and you can’t have half a university.
Shoe sizes are also an example of numeric discrete data.
Continuous data is measured and can take any value (within a range). Examples are:
- a person’s height;
- the weight of a lorry;
- the temperature of a scientific solution;
- time in a race.