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Re: st: Plotting normal distributions


From   Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Plotting normal distributions
Date   Thu, 7 Jun 2012 10:15:07 +0100

Does this mean

1. You have distributions, which happen to be approximately normal,
and you want to plot their distributions on top of each other.

2. You have distributions and you want to compare them with normal
distributions with specified means and standard deviations.

?

Either way, 19 distributions on top of each other is just a recipe for
a mess. I advise against.

More positively, if the distributions really are normal, then they are
characterised by their means and standard deviations and a labelled
scatter plot of sd versus mean is likely to be much more interesting
and informative than a spaghetti version of multiple histograms.

Nick

On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM, Amal Khanolkar <Amal.Khanolkar@ki.se> wrote:

> I would like to plot normal distributions of birth weight by nationality in the same graph for comparison, using different colours.
>
> I wasn't able to figure out how to do this. What I've managed so far is to plot each birth weight distribution separately in small graphs and get it together as one image using the basic histogram command:
>
> hist BW, by (motherland)
>
> I have 19 nationalities. Not sure how many different colours Stata permits  - but maybe a combination of colours and schemes (liked dashed lines) is needed?

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