Sample Quantiles

The generic function quantile produces sample quantiles corresponding to the given probabilities. The smallest observation corresponds to a probability of 0 and the largest to a probability of 1.

quantile(x, ...)

## S3 method for class 'default': quantile(x, probs = seq(0, 1, 0.25), na.rm = FALSE, names = TRUE, type = 7, ...)

numeric vector whose sample quantiles are wanted, or an object of a class for which a method has been defined (see also details). NA and NaN values are not allowed in numeric vectors unless na.rm is TRUE.
numeric vector of probabilities with values in $[0,1]$. (Values up to 2e-14 outside that range are accepted and moved to the nearby endpoint.)
logical; if true, any NA and NaN's are removed from x before the quantiles are computed.
logical; if true, the result has a names attribute. Set to FALSE for speedup with many probs.
an integer between 1 and 9 selecting one of the nine quantile algorithms detailed below to be used.
further arguments passed to or from other methods.

A vector of length length(probs) is returned; if names = TRUE, it has a names attribute.

NA and NaN values in probs are propagated to the result.

The default method works with classed objects sufficiently like numeric vectors that sort and (not needed by types 1 and 3) addition of elements and multiplication by a number work correctly. Note that as this is in a namespace, the copy of sort in base will be used, not some S4 generic of that name. Also note that that is no check on the correctly, and so e.g.quantile can be applied to complex vectors which (apart from ties) will be ordered on their real parts.

There is a method for the date-time classes (see "POSIXt"). Types 1 and 3 can be used for class "Date" and for ordered factors.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

Hyndman, R. J. and Fan, Y. (1996) Sample quantiles in statistical packages, American Statistician 50, 361--365.

See Also

ecdf for empirical distributions of which quantile is an inverse; boxplot.stats and fivenum for computing other versions of quartiles, etc.

  • quantile
  • quantile.default
library(stats) quantile(x <- rnorm(1001)) # Extremes & Quartiles by default quantile(x, probs = c(0.1, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, NA)/100) ### Compare different types p <- c(0.1, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 50)/100 res <- matrix(as.numeric(NA), 9, 7) for(type in 1:9) res[type, ] <- y <- quantile(x, p, type = type) dimnames(res) <- list(1:9, names(y)) round(res, 3)
Documentation reproduced from package stats, version 3.3, License: Part of R 3.3

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