Date: 2023-12-01 Page is: DBtxt003.php L0900-IS-Inequality-in-the-USA-01a
AVERAGE: MEAN -v- MEDIAN
STATISTICS ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD.
QUITE OFTEN THE MESSAGING IS INTENTIONAL
The average (or mean) seems quite benign and suggests prosperity.
The median shows something very different ... the result of policies in the USA since the 1980s that favor wealth over work and result in out-of-control growth of inequality.
What is the average?
There are three main ways of computing the average: mean, median and mode. In most common useage, the average is the mean which is the TOTAL divided by the NUMBER OF PEOPLE.
What is the mean?
The mean is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number.
What is the median?
The median is the value lying at the midpoint of the frequency distribution of observed values, such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it. That is there are as many people below this number as there are abve this number.
Mean (or average) and median tell different stories about the same reality?
This bar-graph shows the amazing difference between the Mean and the Median, and how this changes as a person ages, The mean suggests that older people have considerable wealth, while the median shows that most people have rather little wealth.
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