What Type of Data Does Stata Use?


Angela Bailey

What Type of Data Does Stata Use?

Stata is a powerful statistical software that is widely used in the social sciences and other fields for data analysis. As a user, it is important to understand the types of data that Stata can handle. In this article, we will explore the various data types that can be used in Stata and how they are represented.

Numeric Data

Stata can handle numeric data, which includes both continuous and discrete variables. Continuous variables are those that can take any value within a certain range, such as age or income. Discrete variables, on the other hand, are those that can only take specific values, such as the number of children in a family or the number of items purchased.

Categorical Data

In addition to numeric data, Stata also supports categorical data. Categorical variables represent different categories or groups and can have a limited number of distinct values. Examples of categorical variables include gender (male/female), education level (high school/college/graduate), or occupation (doctor/engineer/teacher).

String Data

Stata also allows for the use of string data. String variables contain text or character data and are typically used to store information such as names, addresses, or descriptions. It is important to note that string variables have a maximum length limit defined by Stata.

Date and Time Data

Date and time variables are also supported by Stata. These variables are used to represent dates and times in various formats. Stata provides built-in functions and formats to handle date and time calculations and manipulations.

List Variables

In addition to these basic data types, Stata also has list variables which allow you to store lists of values. List variables are useful when you have multiple responses for a single observation. For example, if you are conducting a survey and asking participants to select their favorite colors, you can use a list variable to store the selected colors for each participant.

Missing Values

Stata has built-in support for handling missing values in data. Missing values can occur when there is no data available or when data is not applicable or not recorded. Stata represents missing values with a special placeholder that allows for easy identification and handling.


In summary, Stata can handle various types of data, including numeric, categorical, string, date and time, as well as list variables. Understanding the different data types that Stata supports is essential for effectively working with and analyzing your data in this powerful statistical software.

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