What is the empirical rule?

The empirical rule, or the 68-95-99.7 rule, tells you where most of the values lie in a normal distribution:

  • Around 68% of values are within 2 standard deviations of the mean.
  • Around 95% of values are within 4 standard deviations of the mean.
  • Around 99.7% of values are within 6 standard deviations of the mean.

The empirical rule is a quick way to get an overview of your data and check for any outliers or extreme values that don’t follow this pattern.