How to Find the Median of a Series of Numbers

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Find the median of a series of numbers by ordering the numbers from lowest to highest and finding the number in the middle. If there is an even amount of numbers in a series, determine the average of the two middle numbers to find the median. Learn more about finding the median with information from a math teacher in this free video math lesson.

Part of the Video Series: Math Problems & History
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So how does one find the median of a series of numbers? Hi I'm Jimmy Chang, I've been teaching college math for 9 years now, and I'm here to show you exactly that. Now if you know what the median is in general you'll understand that most of the time the median stands for the middle of the road or the middle of the interstate that divides the two lanes or the two direction that the traffic is flowing in, and that's what the median of a series of numbers is, because the median actually refers to the middle of a number. Now you can find the median of any series of numbers but there's one condition that you want to keep in mind, you must put the numbers in order from lowest to highest, so here's an example of how that works. Suppose you have a series of numbers, 6,7,4,1,2. Now you can't just say the middle number is 4, because you need to be sure that all the numbers are in order first from lowest to highest, so that's what you need to do first, put them from lowest to highest. So the lowest number here is 1, followed by 2, followed by 4, followed by 6 and followed by 7, then and only then can you find the number in the middle which in this case coincidently just happens to be 4, so the 4 is your median in this case. Now notice there's five numbers which is an odd number of figures. If the total number of figures is odd then finding the median is pretty easy. But what if you have an even number of figures? Suppose you have 1,2,4,6,7 and lets just say 10, you now have 6 numbers. Now the numbers are in order so you can find the median from there. Whenever you have an even number of figures, then you take the middle two, you take the 4, you take the 6, and then you find the average, in other words you add the two and then divide by 2. Now 4 plus 6 is going to give you 10, divide by 2, that's going to give you 5, the number that you find there is going to be your median. So if you have an even number of figures take the middle two, and average it out, and in this case you have 5. So I'm Jimmy and these are some strategies on how to find the median of a series of numbers.

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