What is 'Mode'

The mode is a statistical term that refers to the most frequently occurring number found in a set of numbers. The mode is found by collecting and organizing data in order to count the frequency of each result. The result with the highest number of occurrences is the mode of the set.

Other popular measures of central tendency include the mean, or the average of a set; and the median, or the middle value in a set.


For example, in the following list of numbers, 16 is the mode since it appears more times than any other number in the set:
3, 3, 6, 9, 16, 16, 16, 27, 27, 37, 48

A set of numbers can have more than one mode (this is known as bimodal) if there are multiple numbers that occur with equal frequency, and more times than the others in the set.

3, 3, 3, 9, 16, 16, 16, 27, 37, 48

In this example, both the number 3 and the number 16 are modes. If no number in a set of numbers occurs more than once, that set has no mode:

3, 6, 9, 16, 27, 37, 48

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Mode


  • It is easy to understand and simple to calculate.
  • It is not affected by extremely large or small values.
  • It can be located just by inspection in ungrouped data and discrete frequency distribution.
  • It can be useful for qualitative data.
  • It can be computed in an open-end frequency table.
  • It can be located graphically.


  • It is not well defined.
  • It is not based on all the values.
  • It is stable for large values so it will not be well defined if the data consists of a small number of values.
  • It is not capable of further mathematical treatment.
  • Sometimes the data has one or more than one mode, and sometimes the data has no mode at all.
  1. Absolute Frequency

    Absolute frequency is a statistical term describing the number ...
  2. Descriptive Statistics

    A set of brief descriptive coefficients that summarizes a given ...
  3. Asymmetrical Distribution

    Asymmetrical distribution is where the values of variables occur ...
  4. Frequency Distribution

    A representation, either in a graphical or tabular format, which ...
  5. Symmetrical Distribution

    A situation in which the values of variables occur at regular ...
  6. Transloading

    Transferring goods from one mode of transportation to another ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Tesla Updates Autopilot Software, Inches Toward Self Driving

    The software will function in active mode for 1,000 Teslas made after October 2016 and in shadow mode for its remaining fleet.
  2. Personal Finance

    Trapped in Financial Survival Mode? Here's How to Get Out

    Use these tips to be happy, save money and avoid living in financial survival mode.
  3. Trading

    Why Utility Stocks Are Looking So Attractive

    Investors are in a risk-off mode and are looking to put their capital to work in safer stocks like utilities.
  4. Financial Advisor

    Asset Manager Ethics: Acting Timely and Accurately

    The client-manager relationship is strengthened by a communication plan that is relevant, accurate and timely. Here's how to create a plan.
  5. Trading

    Which Direction Is The Market Heading?

    The easy and underused NYSE Bullish Percent Index provides insight into market conditions.
  6. Investing

    Investors Are Turning to ETFs Over Hedge Funds

    Exchange-traded funds have grown to surpass hedge funds in total assets, signalling a major shift in investor strategy.
  7. Tech

    Bitcoin's Price Is Behaving Sticky

    Investors and traders are in the "wait and watch" mode and not indulging in any active buying or selling; the drop in trading volume (low of 768 million on September 24) is proof of that.
  1. What is high-frequency trading?

    High frequency trading is an automated trading platform used by large investment banks, hedge funds and institutional investors ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the average length of the boom and bust cycle in the U.S. economy?

    Learn more about the timing and impact of the expansion and contraction periods of the average business cycle in the U.S. ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between authorized shares and outstanding shares?

    Calculating financial ratios can help investors understand a company's financial position, but only when a knowledge of various ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Federal Funds Rate

    The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve ...
  2. Call Option

    An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy a stock, bond, commodity, or other instrument ...
  3. Standard Deviation

    A measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean, calculated as the square root of the variance. The more spread ...
  4. Entrepreneur

    An entrepreneur is an individual who founds and runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of the venture.
  5. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
  6. Perfect Competition

    Pure or perfect competition is a theoretical market structure in which a number of criteria such as perfect information and ...
Trading Center