Definition of Median

This video will give us the definition of median. In any given set of numbers, the median is the number that is in the middle of the set, when the numbers are ordered from least to greatest.

Median is the Middle Number

You will deal with the median any time you have a set of numbers. This can be when you are in the topic of statistics, or you could even pull numbers from a histogram or line plot, order them, and find the median of the graph. The median is a good way to describe the middle of a list of numbers.

Finding the median should be easy right? Well, there’s a catch.

  • For an Odd Amount of Numbers, Median is Easy
  • For an Even Amount of Numbers, You must calculate Median

If you have a group of numbers like this: 23, 26, 26, 26, 29, 36, 37, 38, 42, 42, 48, all you have to do is find the number in the middle. The numbers are already listed from least to greatest, so the first step is done for you. Since there are 11 numbers, we find the middle number, which is the sixth number. Our median is 36.

If you have a group of numbers like this: 23, 26, 26, 26, 29, 36, 39, 40, 42, 42, 48, 49, finding the median takes an extra step. Since there are 12 numbers, there is no single number in the middle. We take the sixth and seventh numbers, which are 36 and 39, and we must calculate the median.

To calculate the median, we add the two middle numbers and divide by two. So basically we split the difference between the two middle numbers to find the median of the set. 36 plus 39 is 75, and 75 divided by 2 is 37.5.

In Review:

The Median is the middle number in a set. First you order them from least to greatest, and either choose the middle number or calculate the median between the two middle numbers.

 

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