1332.0.55.002 - Statistical Language!, 2008
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2008  First Issue
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Contents >> Median >> How do you calculate a Median?

HOW DO YOU CALCULATE A MEDIAN?

To calculate the median, line up all the values in the data set from smallest to largest and identify the middle value. If there are even numbers of values, then the median is the average of the middle two values.

For example, let's look at ‘The Widget Company’ and the salaries of its nine employees.

 Employment details of 'The Widget Company' Observation Position in company Salary (\$) 1 CEO 100 000 2 Manager 60 000 3 Manager 60 000 4 Factory Worker 50 000 5 Factory Worker 50 000 6 Factory Worker 50 000 7 Factory Worker 50 000 8 Trainee 40 000 9 Trainee 40 000

To identify which value in a data set is the median we use the following formula:

The fifth observation of the data set (when the data set is arranged from lowest to highest) will have the median salary. So the median salary of workers at the ‘The Widget Company’ is \$50,000, a good indication of a central value of the salaries.

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