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What Does Percentile Mean?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
What does "percentile" mean?? sorry im stupid haha
Signed: What Does Percentile Mean?

Dear What Does Percentile Mean?,


You are absolutely not stupid for not knowing what percentile means. In fact, you show intelligence for asking and wanting to educate yourself about something you weren’t sure about!

TeenHealthFX is wondering if you are referring to our reference to percentile in our answer to Not Losing Weight – Should I Work Out Every Day? (or perhaps any of the questions we have answered that include information on BMI).

In statistics, percentile is the value of a variable below which a certain percent of observations fall. For example, in our answer to the question mentioned above the BMI calculation put the person at the 75th percentile. What that means is that 75% of girls of the same age and height weigh less than the person writing in and 25% of the girls at the same age and height weigh more.

If the meaning of percentile is still not clear to you, please write back and let us know or check in with a math teacher at school – sometimes it is easier to learn things when we have someone explaining them to us in person!

Signed: TeenHealthFX