Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
Introductory Business Statistics

5.2 The Uniform Distribution

Introductory Business Statistics5.2 The Uniform Distribution

The uniform distribution is a continuous probability distribution and is concerned with events that are equally likely to occur. When working out problems that have a uniform distribution, be careful to note if the data is inclusive or exclusive of endpoints.

The mathematical statement of the uniform distribution is

f(x) = 1 ba 1 ba for axb

where a = the lowest value of x and b = the highest value of x.

Formulas for the theoretical mean and standard deviation are

μ= a+b 2 μ= a+b 2 and σ= (ba) 2 12 σ= (ba) 2 12

Try It

The data that follow record the total weight, to the nearest pound, of fish caught by passengers on 35 different charter fishing boats on one summer day. The sample mean = 7.9 and the sample standard deviation = 4.33. The data follow a uniform distribution where all values between and including zero and 14 are equally likely. State the values of a and b. Write the distribution in proper notation, and calculate the theoretical mean and standard deviation.

1 12 4 10 4 14 11
7 11 4 13 2 4 6
3 10 0 12 6 9 10
5 13 4 10 14 12 11
6 10 11 0 11 13 2
Table 5.1

Example 5.2

The amount of time, in minutes, that a person must wait for a bus is uniformly distributed between zero and 15 minutes, inclusive.


a. What is the probability that a person waits fewer than 12.5 minutes?


b. On the average, how long must a person wait? Find the mean, μ, and the standard deviation, σ.


c. Ninety percent of the time, the time a person must wait falls below what value?


This asks for the 90th percentile.

Try It 5.2

The total duration of baseball games in the major league in the 2011 season is uniformly distributed between 447 hours and 521 hours inclusive.

  1. Find a and b and describe what they represent.
  2. Write the distribution.
  3. Find the mean and the standard deviation.
  4. What is the probability that the duration of games for a team for the 2011 season is between 480 and 500 hours?
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jun 23, 2022 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.