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 Of the $73 billion of increased spending on the credit, 39 percent went to families in the top quintile and 2 percent to those at the bottom, according to Elaine Maag of the bipartisan Tax Policy Center. Jason Deparle, New York Times, "The Tax Break for Children, Except the Ones Who Need It Most," 16 Dec. 2019 Only 4% of people who were raised at the bottom quintile of income ever make it to the top one. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Johns Hopkins shows that ending legacy admissions can fight inequality in America," 22 Jan. 2020 By comparison, the top 20% of U.S. households earn about $221,000 annually, or nearly 17 times more than the lowest quintile. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Low-wage workers are getting bigger raises than bosses," 27 Dec. 2019 In Richard Chetty’s landmark study of 20 million Americans, one in 10 black kids who grew up poor made it to the top two quintiles of earners as adults. Dasia Moore, Quartz, "Being a protective black mom isn’t a parenting choice—it’s the only choice," 20 Dec. 2019 At what are called the Ivy Plus colleges—the eight Ivies plus schools such as the University of Chicago, M.I.T., and Stanford—more than two-thirds of the students are from the top quintile and less than four per cent are from the bottom. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "Is Meritocracy Making Everyone Miserable?," 23 Sep. 2019 Scharf installed sales targets and quotas what rewarded the best performers with $65,000 payouts, and zip to the lowest quintile, and handed the sales people who achieved the highest volumes bonuses over $100,000. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Wells Fargo’s New CEO Charlie Scharf Spent 25 Years Learning From Jamie Dimon—Now He’s Taking Him On," 2 Oct. 2019 All quintiles are rising roughly together, and the working class is doing particularly well. Karl W. Smith, Twin Cities, "Karl W. Smith: The good news about income inequality," 15 Sep. 2019 In the fourth quarter, household income in the bottom quintile plunged 17.7%. Washington Post, "One of the World’s Most Stubborn Central Banks Gives In," 18 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for quintile

Time Traveler

The first known use of quintile was in 1922

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Statistics for quintile

Last Updated

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quintile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quintile. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quintile

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