What are Quintiles?

The first quintile represents the lowest fifth of the data (1 percent to 20%), the second quintile represents the second fifth (21 percent to 40%), and so on. Quintiles are used to define cut-off points for a population; for example, government-sponsored socio-economic research would utilize quintiles to identify the maximum wealth a family might have in order to fall into the lowest socioeconomic quintile. This cut-off point can then be utilized as a requirement for a family to obtain a specific government subsidy targeted at helping the less fortunate members of society.