In Stata, how do I store the descriptive statistics of a variable in a macro?

In Stata, the `.tabstat` command computes aggregate statistics of variables such as mean and standard deviation, and its `save` option stores these statistics in a matrix. For example, to get the N, mean, and standard deviation of personal income, enter:

. tabstat income, stat(n mean sd) save

The `stat()` option specifies the aggregate statistics to be computed. `N` (the number of valid observations), mean, and standard deviation are stored in a matrix `r(StatTotal)`. You may check for the presence of the matrix using the `return list` command. You can also list the values of the matrix by running ```matrix list r(StatTotal)``` as follows: . return list matrices: r(StatTotal) : 3 x 1 . matrix list r(StatTotal) To convert the special matrix into a typical matrix using the `.matrix` command, enter:

. matrix stats=r(StatTotal)

Finally, to convert a scalar, for example, the mean of the variable, into a macro, enter:

. local avg=stats[2,1]

If you want to save the matrix as a variable, enter the `.svmat` command instead:

. clear . svmat stats, name(var)

You may clear memory before converting the matrix. Since the matrix has only one column (3x1), you may have one variable `var1` with three observations for `N`, mean, and standard deviation.

If you have questions about using statistical and mathematical software at Indiana University, email UITS Research Analytics (formerly known as the Stat/Math Center). Research Analytics is located on the IU Bloomington campus at Woodburn Hall 200, and is open for consultation by appointment Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. For more, visit Research Analytics on the web, or call 812-855-4724 (IUB) or 317-278-4740 (IUPUI).

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Last modified on January 13, 2014.

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