quin·​tile | \ ˈkwin-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce quintile (audio) \

Definition of quintile

: any of the four values that divide the items of a frequency distribution into five classes with each containing one fifth of the total population also : any one of the five classes

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Breaking Down the Meaning of Quintile

Many people have a deep interest in statistics about themselves, whether the information provided is about income, ice-cream consumption, or trash production. And any such rating can be divided into fifths, or quintiles. The fifth or lowest quintile would include the 20 percent of the population who make the least money or eat the least ice cream or generate the least trash, and the first quintile would include the 20 percent who make, eat, or generate the most.

Examples of quintile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Shares of companies in the second and third quintiles have risen 13% and 12% respectively, this year, beating the 8.7% advance by the largest companies in the index, Strategas data show. Corrie Driebusch, WSJ, "It’s Not All Tech. Small Stocks Are Powering the Market Higher.," 16 Sep. 2018 Recent wage gains have been fastest for workers in the bottom quintile. Jason Furman, WSJ, "The Case for Pausing the Interest-Rate Climb," 27 Nov. 2018 The richest quintile — those just below the top 1 percent — had a similar gain of nearly 80 percent. James Freeman, WSJ, "Prosperity and its Temporary Side Effects," 19 Nov. 2018 Note: Income ranges are rounded and are based on quintiles. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "Top 20% of Americans Will Pay 87% of Income Tax," 6 Apr. 2018 Ditto for the third quintile, or a family earning no more than $43,000 a year. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Tariffs and the Tax Cut," 12 June 2018 Those in the lowest income quintile could lose 49% of their tax gains. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Tariffs and the Tax Cut," 12 June 2018 That’s more than 21 times the average income ($13,809) of those in the bottom 20 percent, or quintile (as economists put it). David Wessel, Newsweek, "Does the Tax System Reduce Inequality?," 12 Apr. 2015 For Boise, this meant that the average income among households in the top 20 percent soared to almost $182,000 while incomes in the bottom quintile stagnated around $12,000. Wei Lu, Bloomberg.com, "These Are the U.S. Cities With the Fastest-Growing Wealth Gaps," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quintile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quintile

1922, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quintile

Latin quintus + English -ile entry 2

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Statistics for quintile

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quintile

The first known use of quintile was in 1922

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Financial Definition of quintile

What It Is

A quintile is one of five equal parts.

How It Works

For example, if we were to look at all of the closing prices for Company XYZ stock for every day in the last year, the top 20% of those prices would represent the upper quintile of the data. The bottom 20% of those prices would represent the lower quintile of the data. There would be three quintiles in between the upper and lower quintiles. The average of all the stock prices typically falls right in the middle, between the second and fourth quintiles.

Why It Matters

Quintiles are crucial for studying economic data, income data, stock data, and virtually any other kind of financial information. By breaking things into quintiles, an analyst can make a variety of inferences about the data and how the observed item behaves.

Source: Investing Answers

More from Merriam-Webster on quintile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quintile

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