Average vs Median – Difference Between Average and Median

Average vs Median – Difference Between Average and Median

During our school days, most of us have learnt these terms during our mathematics class. Some of us, in our zeal to learn more, have taken private tuitions. These are very basic terms that we must know. Those who are in different fields may forget what’s the difference between median and average. So average means when all the numbers are summed up and divided on the count of them. And median means the middle value in the row of numbers.

They could be some need to teach their kids. So, they might feel the need to brush up the difference between median and average. In this current article, we will delve into details on the average vs median difference. We hope it will help you brush up your knowledge also.

Definition of Average – So What Is Average?

An average is defined as the value that represents the middle point of a set of values.

To formula for this quantity is:

A = sum of numbers ÷ number of units

For instance, if asked to find the average of the following set of numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, then all you have to do is to:

  • Add up all the values to get a particular number, X
  • Divide X by the number of units there are in the set

To do this, we have:

  • Data set sum: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7     = 28
  • Total units in the set                                     = 7
  • Average                                                             = 28 ÷ 7

                                                              = 4

So, the final answer is 4.

Here is another example.

  • Data set sum: 2 + 9 + 10 + 3 + 6 + 1 + 8 + 4 + 2    = 45
  • Total units in the set                                                     = 9
  • Average                                                                             = 45 ÷ 9

= 5

So, the final answer is 5.

The expression average, or the mean, is found by dividing total of all the figures in the set by how many figures were there in this set. Anyone can now say that it is the central point of all the figures in the set. Average has another meaning across our life. We also loosely use this word when we denote an approximate value.

Like, we say that it takes on an average of three months for a sale to close. Or, we can send the item to you in an average of three days. The term is said in the form of an approximation. It can also refer to a normal amount or a normal person. We often say, an average person can lift around twenty kilos of weight.

Definition of Median – So What Is Median?

Median is defined as the middle number of a numerically arranged data set. When these two, when average vs median are compared, one can see how they are similar. In the case of the former, it does not matter if the elements in the data set are arranged in a particular order or not, while in the case of the latter, it matters.

It is possible to be given a data set with elements that are not numerically arranged. In such cases, you have to arrange every piece of element in the set accordingly in numerical order, starting from the smallest ones to the biggest. Here are the steps.

  • Arrange values in rising order
  • Add 1 to the total units in the set to get Y
  • Divide Y by 2 to find M
  • Locate the position of M in the number set

Here is an example.

Find the median of the following – 4, 2, 2, 9, 4, 7, 3, 1, 4, 8, and 5.

What Is the Main Difference Between Median and Average?

You may also have to teach your children what is the difference between mean and median.

Basis of Comparison Median Average
What it means In a set of figures in rising order, it is the mid figure It is the mid figure of a set of figures
Applicability It is for a distribution that is skewed The distribution is normal
Outliers Not dependent on any outlier Dependent on outliers
Type of average It is more of a positional average It is the mid point of the set of figures
How to find out First the set has to be arranged in ascending order. Then the average of the two figures in the center is taken You just add up the figures in the set and divide it by the total count of figures in the set

So What’s the Difference Between Median and Average? – Conclusion

The article has dealt about what is difference between average and median. We have also taken notice that the average is most in use. While it covers the entire set of figures, the median does not really take into account the entire set of figures.

There may be a situation where some figures which are greatly out of sorts and varies with the other figures, the average will be different. The median might not take this into account as it is only a positional cardinal point. So, we now see that the average can be varying if the numbers in the set have some outliers.

So, we have gone through in detail about the average and median difference. We sincerely hope your concepts will be clear when anyone has gone through this article. We will sincerely look forward to your feedback and suggestions.