Histograms are among the most important graphical objects in statistical practice, providing a consistent estimate of any continuous density function with very few assumptions. Restricting attention to bins of equal width, the histogram is sometimes presented as a frequency chart or normalized to be a true density. The construction of a histogram may be specified by either its bin width or by the number of bins. Sturges' rule gives a number‐of‐bins formula. The formula was the first rule given in the literature and is still widely implemented in software today. This article reviews the underlying rationale for the rule and indicates when it is most appropriate to use in practice. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Published Online: Nov 02 2009