What Is a Continuous Variable?

In statistics, a continuous variable refers to a variable that can contain all the possible values within its minimum and maximum ranges. All variables that are not considered continuous are called discrete variables.

When a continuous variable is split into different categories, the process is referred to as "discretizing," "chopping data" or "binning." This technique is generally considered a bad approach in statistics. The disadvantages of using methods such as "median split" or "extreme third rails" include the loss of power during hypothesis testing, the loss of data in creating histograms and the difficult corrective measures for inflation with collected data that involve incomes.