# Median

Difficulty:

# Statistics: Median

# Median

When driving, the "median" is the center divider, the line or island that separates the cars traveling in opposite directions. Use this to help you remember what the Median is in math. The median is the "center" for a list of items. It is NOT the Mean (the average) and can be deceiving.

Frequently, people will talk about the median of a list of numbers, such as the median price of homes in a neighborhood. You really need to understand what it is or someone is going to pull the wool over your eyes.

When a list of numbers has been sorted, Median is the middle number in a list of numbers. For example, in the set of numbers { 1, 1, 1, 2, 99, 100, 1000} the median of this list is the number "2." 2 is in the MIDDLE of the list ( 3 numbers are left, and 3 numbers are to the right of the "2" in this list.

Median is calculated as follows:

- Sort your list in ascending order
- Count the number of numbers in the list
- Find the number that is in the middle of the list (an equal number of list items are above and below the middle number you found, this middle numer is the median.

However, this median is too simple ... what do you do if you have an even number of numbers in the list ... how do you find the middle. The answer is as follows:

- Sort your list in ascending order
- Count the number of numbers in the list
- Find the numbers that would be on each side of the middle of the list.
- Add the number below and above the middle
- Divide the sum by 2, the answer is the median

Median identify the center of a set of numbers, but, not necessarily the trend or typical. Don't let anyone tell you that the Median identifies typical or trendy. While it may accidently be the typical or trendy number, only a careful look at the numbers used to create the median will tell if the Median is the typical number in the list.