There are no hard and fast rules for preparing a statistical table. Prof. Bowley has rightly pointed out “In collection and tabulation, common sense is the chief requisite and experience is the chief teacher.” However, the following points should be borne in mind while preparing a table.

(i) A good table must contain all the essential parts, such as, Table number, Title, Head note, Caption, Stub, Body, Foot note and source note.

(ii) A good table should be simple to understand. It should also be compact, complete and self-explanatory.

(iii) A good table should be of proper size. There should be proper space for rows and columns. One table should not be overloaded with details. Sometimes it is difficult to present entire data in a single table. In that case, data are to be divided into more number of tables.


(iv) A good table must have an attractive get up. It should be prepared in such a manner that a scholar can understand the problem without any strain.

(v) Rows and columns of a table must be numbered.

(vi) In all tables the captions and stubs should be arranged in some systematic manner. The manner of presentation may be alphabetically, or chronologically depending upon the requirement.

(vii) The unit of measurement should be mentioned in the head note.


(viii) The figures should be rounded off to the nearest hundred, or thousand or lakh. It helps in avoiding unnecessary details.

(ix) Percentages and ratios should be computed. Percentage of the value for item to the total must be given in parenthesis just below the value.

(x) In case of non-availability of information, one should write N.A. or indicate it by dash (-).

(xi) Ditto marks should be avoided in a table. Similarly the expression ‘etc’ should not be used in a table.