Education Technology

Mathematics lessons for IB® Diploma Programme

Applications and Interpretation | Probability and Statistics

Analyzing Country Data

Activity Overview

This activity involves sample listings of the ages of 200 people from each of three countries: USA, Kenya and Japan.

Students will:

  • Consider why a summary of ages is important and how a summary of the ages can be connected to a better understanding of the populations of each country.
  • Examine sample ages from the three countries displayed in a spreadsheet and in histograms with percent on the vertical scale that highlight the distinctive features of the distribution of the ages from each sample.
  • Connect descriptions of the histograms to summaries based on box plots.
  • Learn that samples are not exact pictures of the population but sample statistics can provide a reasonable way to develop estimates of the total populations of each country.
  • As an extension, students create a sample of their “own” country and put together a summary of the country based on the sample.


  • Students will be able to summarize data from a two-way frequency table.
  • Students will be able to interpret conditional probabilities from a two-way table.
  • Students will be able to interpret expected values from a simulation as an estimate of outcomes.
  • Students will be able to interpret expected values as an indication of association.


  • association
  • conditional probability table
  • random sample
  • survey
  • two-way frequency table