I have a map of my state with county boundaries. What settings should I use to color the counties based on their area but only if its area falls in the bottom or top 25% of county area?

For example, if I have 100 counties, sort them by area then color the top 25 (25%) and bottom 25 (25%).

I found the Symbology tab (Layer properties) and tried various combinations under Quantities, all using the SHAPE.AREA value. I tried changing the Classification. None of the combinations seem correct or require much manual manipulation. For example, I created 10 classes but set the fill to None for all classes except the bottom and top two classes.

Which classification method should I use and what is the recommended approach to performing this task?


A couple of different ways. If you find out that the breaking point for 25% is lets say 10000.02343 acres, go to Layer Properties > Definition Query and enter the limiting information. Shape_Area < 100000.02343. Then set symbology.


Similar to what you were trying already, go to Layer Properties > Symbology > Quantities > Graduated Colors. Pick 'Fields, Value: Shape_Area', 'Classification, 4, Classify' Drag the leftmost vertical line until it says in the bottom right '25 Elements in Class' or however many is needed to represent 25%. You may have to move the other vertical lines to give room to get 25 in the class. Then OK and set your colors. Remove colors for classifications that you don't want to show.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.