How to Make Relative Frequency Distribution in Excel


A frequency distribution lists survey results by the number of people or items in each class range. A relative frequency distribution goes one step further by citing the relativity of each class compared to all classes. For instance, if a study of 200 people discovers that 42 people weigh 150 to 175 pounds, the relative distribution for that class is 42/200, or .21. That said, making a relative frequency distribution in Excel is not that much different from making a regular frequency distribution.

  • Type the class label in A1, the number label in B2 and "Relative Frequency" in C3. For instance, if your relative frequency distribution measures people's weight, the class label might read "Weight in Lbs" and your number label might read "Number of People."

  • Follow the cells underneath the A1 and B2 labels with their corresponding values. Given the example, list the weight classes underneath A1 and the corresponding number of people in each class underneath B2.

  • Calculate the total numbers by clicking the cell underneath the very last number cell in column B, typing "=SUM(", holding down the "Shift" key, clicking cell B2, clicking the last number cell excluding this one, typing a closing parenthesis and pressing "Enter." If you have numbers from cell B2 to cell B7, for instance, the function should be placed in cell B8 and read "=SUM(B2:B7)". Don't include the surrounding quotation marks in any of these commands.

  • Populate column D with the relative frequency by clicking cell D2, holding down the "Shift" key, clicking the cell in column D that is adjacent to the last cell in column C excluding the total cell, letting go of the "Shift" key, typing "=B2/", clicking the total cell, pressing the "F4" key, holding down the "Ctrl" button and hitting "Enter."

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