[R] father and son heights

Rolf Turner rolf at math.unb.ca
Sun Feb 15 20:30:43 CET 2004

Ann Loraine wrote:

> I'm looking for Pearson's father and son height data.
> ...........  It's a data set that is used to teach Pearson's 
> correlation coefficient in a popular statistics textbook - "Statistics" 
> by Freedman, Pisani, et al.
> It contains over a thousand measurements of son's and their father's 
> heights.
> I would like to find it in electronic form so that I can use it to 
> prepare figures and examples for a lecture.
> If anyone knows where I could find it, please let me know.  I've done a 
> few Google searches but haven't had any luck so far.  I also used the 
> data() command to look through R's built-in data sets and couldn't find 
> it.  Any suggestions would be most welcome!

I believe that you have been searching under the wrong name.  The
data are most closely associated with Galton (the bloke to whom the
word ``regression'' is due) rather than with Pearson.

A search on

	Galton height

led me immediately to


where the data appear to be readily available.

I ***presume*** that these are the data you seek, although there are
only 930 observations, not ``over a thousand''.  (Close, but!)

The data are given to a limited accurracy, which induces a strangely
grid-like appearance when they are plotted, but that is presumably
the nature of this data set.  They were apparently taken from a table
prepared by Galton.  Values which were originally given in Galton's
table as ``>= 73.7'' or ``<= 61.7'' are truncated to their respective

One thing that puzzles me:  The documentation says that the data
pertain to 928 children, yet there are 930 data points. (????)
I can't find an explanation in the documentation.  Maybe I'm just
blind.  Or thick.


					Rolf Turner
					rolf at math.unb.ca

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