## What is Median?

Median – Measures Of Central Tendency

The median – measure of central tendency that represents the middle value in a dataset when the values are arranged in ascending or descending order. In other words, the median is the value that separates the higher half from the lower half of the data. It is a measure that helps describe the central position of the data and is often used when dealing with skewed or non-normally distributed datasets.

Key points about the median:

**Middle Value:**The median is the middle value in a dataset when the values are ordered. If there is an odd number of values, the median is the middle value. If there is an even number of values, the median is the average of the two middle values.**Resistant to Outliers:**Unlike the mean, which can be greatly affected by extreme values (outliers), the median is less influenced by outliers. This makes it a robust measure of central tendency.**Suitable for Skewed Data:**The median is especially useful when dealing with data that is skewed, meaning it is not symmetrically distributed. It provides a measure of central tendency that is less affected by the skewed tails of the distribution.**Ordinal Data:**The median can be used with ordinal data, which consists of categories with a specific order but may not have meaningful numerical intervals.**Data Splitting:**The median splits the dataset into two equal halves, making it a useful tool for identifying the central value in situations where the data’s distribution is not well-behaved.

## Uses Of Median

The median is a statistical measure of central tendency that has several important uses across various fields and applications. It is particularly valuable when dealing with data that may be skewed or when robust measures of central tendency are needed. Here are some key uses of the median:

**Resistant to Outliers:**The median is less sensitive to outliers (extreme values) than the mean. When there are outliers in the data, the median can provide a more robust estimate of central tendency.**Skewed Distributions:**In skewed or non-normally distributed datasets, the median often provides a better representation of the center of the data compared to the mean, which can be heavily influenced by the skewness.**Ordinal Data:**The median is suitable for ordinal data, which consists of categories or ranks with an inherent order but no equal intervals between them. It can help identify the middle value or category.**Income and Wealth Data:**Median income or wealth is often reported in economic studies to describe the central income or wealth level for a given population. This is especially useful when dealing with income distributions that are not symmetric.**Housing and Real Estate:**In real estate, the median house price is commonly used to represent the central price point in a neighborhood or region. It provides a better indication of the typical price compared to the mean, which can be affected by extreme luxury properties.**Healthcare and Clinical Data:**Median values are used in healthcare to describe variables such as patient age, length of hospital stay, and laboratory test results, where extreme values or outliers can affect the mean.**Education:**In education, the median is used to determine the middle score or performance level in standardized tests, class rankings, or student grades.**Ranking and Percentiles:**The median is often used to determine the 50th percentile or the middle point in a data distribution. Percentiles help compare an individual’s position relative to others in a dataset.**Survey Data:**Median responses to survey questions are used to describe the central tendency of people’s opinions or attitudes on a particular topic.**Data Exploration:**When exploring a dataset, the median provides an initial sense of where the central values lie, helping researchers identify potential trends and patterns.**Comparing Datasets:**The median is used to compare the central tendencies of two or more datasets. Researchers can use medians to identify differences or similarities between groups.**Analyzing Income Inequality:**In economics and sociology, the median household income is used to assess income inequality, providing insight into the income level at which half of the households earn more and half earn less.

## Limitation Of Median – Measures Of Central Tendency

The median is a useful measure of central tendency in many situations, but like any statistical measure, it has its limitations. Here are some of the key limitations of the median:

**Insensitive to Outliers:**While the median is less sensitive to outliers than the mean, extreme values (outliers) can still affect it, especially in small datasets. If you have one or a few outliers that are significantly different from the rest of the data, they can distort the median.**Not Utilizing All Data:**The median is solely based on the middle value(s) of the dataset. It does not take into account the actual values of all data points, which means that valuable information about the magnitude of values may be lost.**Difficulty Handling Tied Data:**In datasets with tied (equal) values, determining the median can be problematic. There are different conventions for handling tied data, which can lead to slightly different results. This issue is less common with the mean.**Limited in Describing the Shape of Data:**The median provides information about the central value but doesn’t offer insights into the overall shape of the data distribution, such as whether it is symmetric or skewed. It is less informative than other measures in this regard.**Not Suitable for Nominal Data:**The median is not applicable to nominal data, which consists of categories or labels with no inherent order or numeric value. Attempting to calculate the median for nominal data is not meaningful.**May Not Exist in Certain Distributions:**In some distributions, especially continuous distributions with multiple modes (peaks), the median may not exist as a single value, or it may not be a unique value. This can make interpretation difficult.**Doesn’t Use All Information in Data:**The median only considers the order or ranking of data points and not the actual values themselves. This can be a limitation when the magnitude or quantity of data is important.

Despite these limitations, the median is a valuable measure of central tendency, particularly in situations where the mean may not be appropriate due to the presence of outliers or skewed data. It provides a robust way to describe the center of the data, especially when the distribution is not symmetric. It is often used in conjunction with other statistics and measures to provide a more complete understanding of a dataset.

## Calculation of Median

Calculating the median is straightforward, especially when you have a dataset with an odd number of values. For datasets with an even number of values, you’ll need to take the average of the two middle values. Here are the steps to calculate the median with examples for both scenarios:

**Step 1: Order the Data**

- Start by arranging the data values in either ascending or descending order.

**Step 2: Find the Middle Value(s)**

- If the dataset has an odd number of values, the median is the middle value. If the dataset has an even number of values, the median is the average of the two middle values.

**Step 3: Calculate the Median**

Let’s work through examples for both odd and even datasets:

**Example 1: Calculating the Median for an Odd Dataset**

Suppose you have a dataset of test scores for a class of 7 students:

92, 85, 78, 88, 95, 90, 89

**Step 1: Order the data** Arranged in ascending order: 78, 85, 88, 89, 90, 92, 95

**Step 2: Find the middle value** Since there are 7 values, the middle value is the fourth value in the ordered list: 89.

**Step 3: Calculate the median** Median = 89

So, the median test score for the class is 89.

**Example 2: Calculating the Median for an Even Dataset**

Suppose you have a dataset of test scores for a class of 8 students:

92, 85, 78, 88, 95, 90, 89, 91

**Step 1: Order the data** Arranged in ascending order: 78, 85, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 95

**Step 2: Find the middle values** Since there are 8 values, the two middle values are the fourth and fifth values: 89 and 90.

**Step 3: Calculate the median** Median = (89 + 90) / 2 Median = 179 / 2 Median = 89.5

So, the median test score for the class is 89.5.

### 7 examples of calculating Median

#### Example 1: Odd Number of Data Points

Dataset: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15

Step 1: Arrange the data in ascending order: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15

Step 2: Since there is an odd number of data points (5 in this case), the median is the middle value.

Step 3: Median = 9

#### Example 2: Even Number of Data Points

Dataset: 4, 7, 10, 15

Step 1: Arrange the data in ascending order: 4, 7, 10, 15

Step 2: Since there is an even number of data points (4 in this case), the median is the average of the middle two values.

Step 3: Median = (7 + 10) / 2 = 8.5

#### Example 3: Repeated Values

Dataset: 5, 5, 8, 10, 12

Step 1: Arrange the data in ascending order: 5, 5, 8, 10, 12

Step 2: Since there is an odd number of data points (5 in this case), the median is the middle value.

Step 3: Median = 8

#### Example 4: Large Dataset

Numbers: 15, 20, 25, 18, 22, 17, 21, 19

Step 1: Arrange the numbers in ascending order: 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25

Step 2: Since there is an even number of elements, the median is the average of the middle two numbers: (19 + 20) / 2 = 19.5.

#### Example 5: Decimals

Numbers: 3.5, 1.2, 2.8, 4.1, 3.9

Step 1: Arrange the numbers in ascending order: 1.2, 2.8, 3.5, 3.9, 4.1

Step 2: Since there is an odd number of elements, the median is the middle number, which is 3.5.

#### Example 6: Negative Numbers

Numbers: -6, -2, -8, -3, -5

Step 1: Arrange the numbers in ascending order: -8, -6, -5, -3, -2

Step 2: Since there is an odd number of elements, the median is the middle number, which is -5.

#### Example 7: Fractions

Numbers: 1/2, 1/4, 3/4, 1/3

Step 1: Arrange the fractions in ascending order: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 3/4

Step 2: Since there is an even number of elements, the median is the average of the middle two fractions: (1/3 + 1/2) / 2 = 5/12.

**7 easy to very difficult question Can you solve it ?**

Question Level | Question |
---|---|

Easy | What is the median of the following dataset: 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 20? |

Easy | In a set of 10 test scores, what is the median score if the scores are 85, 88, 90, 92, 95, 96, 98, 100, 100, 100? |

Moderate | Given the ages of seven people: 25, 27, 28, 30, 32, 35, 40, what is the median age? |

Moderate | You have a set of 15 data points with values ranging from 1 to 100. Find the median. |

Difficult | In a dataset with 20 numbers, what is the median if the numbers are all unique prime numbers between 1 and 50? |

Difficult | In a skewed dataset, the mean and median are not the same. Explain why this happens and provide an example. |

Very Difficult | You have a dataset with 100 numbers. Is it possible for the median to be larger than the mean? Explain why or why not, and provide an example if applicable. |

- Answer :

**Easy: What is the median of the following dataset: 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 20?****Answer:**The median is 10. Since the dataset is already in numerical order, the median is the middle number, which is 10.

**Easy: In a set of 10 test scores, what is the median score if the scores are 85, 88, 90, 92, 95, 96, 98, 100, 100, 100?****Answer:**The median score is 96. To find the median, arrange the scores in numerical order and pick the middle number. In this case, the fifth and sixth numbers are both 96, so the median is 96.

**Moderate: Given the ages of seven people: 25, 27, 28, 30, 32, 35, 40, what is the median age?****Answer:**The median age is 30. When the ages are arranged in numerical order, the middle number is 30.

**Moderate: You have a set of 15 data points with values ranging from 1 to 100. Find the median.****Answer:**Without the specific data points, it’s not possible to provide the exact median. However, if you sort the 15 data points in numerical order, the median would be the eighth number in the sorted list.

**Difficult: In a dataset with 20 numbers, what is the median if the numbers are all unique prime numbers between 1 and 50?****Answer:**The median would be the 10th prime number. Arrange the prime numbers from 1 to 50 in numerical order and pick the 10th number in the sorted list.

**Difficult: In a skewed dataset, the mean and median are not the same. Explain why this happens and provide an example.****Answer:**In a skewed dataset, the mean is influenced by the extreme values, pulling it away from the center where the median lies. For example, consider the dataset: 1, 2, 3, 4, 100. The mean is (1+2+3+4+100)/5 = 22 while the median is 3. When the dataset is skewed by an extremely large or small value, the mean is significantly affected, but the median remains relatively stable.

**Very Difficult: You have a dataset with 100 numbers. Is it possible for the median to be larger than the mean? Explain why or why not, and provide an example if applicable.****Answer:**Yes, it is possible for the median to be larger than the mean. This happens in a dataset with a few extremely high values (outliers). The median is not influenced by the magnitude of these outliers, while the mean is. For example, consider the dataset: 1, 2, 3, …, 99, 10000. The median is 50.5 (the average of the 50th and 51st numbers), and the mean is (1+2+3+…+99+10000)/100 = 100.505. In this case, the median is smaller than the mean due to the extreme outlier 10000.