Purpose and arrangement of table. Crosstabulation is a combination of two (or more) frequency tables arranged such that each cell in the resulting table represents a unique combination of specific values of crosstabulated variables. Thus, crosstabulation allows us to examine frequencies of observations that belong to specific categories on more than one variable. By examining these frequencies, we can identify relations between crosstabulated variables. Only categorical (nominal) variables or variables with a relatively small number of different meaningful values should be crosstabulated. Note that in the cases where we do want to include a continuous variable in a crosstabulation (e.g., income), we can first recode it into a particular number of distinct ranges (e.g., low, medium, high).

For additional overview topics on the description of joint frequency distributions via crosstabulations, see: