Median = Middle
Basics
Median = Middle
Median Number = Middle Number
The median is the number in the middle of a group of numbers.
Half of the numbers are higher than the median; half of the numbers are lower than the median.
In order to determine the median, it is helpful to create a row or a column of numbers from lowest to highest.
When there is an odd number of numbers, the median can by identified without calculation.
When there is an even number of numbers, the median must be calculated.
The formula provided for median by the Mathematics Formula Sheet is not presented as a mathematical expression.
Formulas (Mathematics Formula Sheet)
Median is the middle value in an odd number of ordered values of a data set, or the mean of the two middle values in an even number of ordered values in a data set.
Formulas (NOT on Mathematics Formula Sheet)
Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
Median for even number of numbers =
Question
What is the median of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (an odd number of numbers)?
Answer
4
Answer Process
Row
Column
7
6
5
4 <— Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
3
2
1
Question
What is the median of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (an even number of numbers) in decimal form?
Answer
4.5
Answer Process
Row
Column
8
7
6
5
<— 4.5 <— Median for even number of numbers =
4
3
2
1
Input  Display  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
4 + 5 2 

4.5  Answer (Toggle) 

Median 
Question
Five people weigh 111, 135, 156, 175, and 199 pounds, respectively. What is their median weight?
Answer
156
Answer Process
199
175
156 <— Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
135
111
Question
Six people weight 105, 111, 135, 156, 175, and 199 pounds, respectively. What is their median weight in decimal form?
Answer
145.5
Answer Process
199
175
156
<— 145.5 <— Median for even number of numbers =
135
111
105
Input  Display  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
135 + 156 2 

145.5  Answer (Toggle) 

Median 
Question
The median weight of five people is 177 pounds. As per the column below, four of their five weights are known. Place an X over the question mark where the fifth weight should go.
?
179
177 <— Median
135
111
?
Answer
X
179
177 <— Median
135
111
Answer Process
X
179
177 <— Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
135
111
Question
This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of nine children. Place an X on the graph such that the median age is 5.
Answer
Answer Process
Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
The original graph shows the ages of eight children. Because the final number of children is an odd number, the ninth X must be placed at the number 5 to allow half of the ages to be greater than 5 and half less than 5.
Question
This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of nine children. Place an X on the graph where the median age should be.
Answer
Answer Process
Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
The original graph shows the ages of eight children. Because the final number of children is an odd number, the ninth X must be placed at the number 7 to allow half of the ages to be greater than 7 and half less than 7.
Question
This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of ten children. The median age of the ten children is 5.5. Place the tenth X on the graph where it should be.
Answer
Answer Process
The original graph shows the ages of nine children. Because the given median of 5.5 is halfway between 5 and 6 and there is already an X at the number 5, the tenth X must be placed at the number 6.
Practice – Questions
1. Three houses cost $125,000, $179,000, and $225,000, respectively. What is their median cost? Show your work.
2. Four houses cost $125,000, $179,000, $225,000, and $276,000, respectively. What is their median cost? Show your work.
3. Five basketball players scored 7, 12, 15, 28, and 33 points, respectively. What was their median score?
4. Six bowlers scored 117, 129, 155, 168, 202, and 233, respectively. What was their median score in decimal form?
5. The median score of seven bowlers is 142. As per the column below, six of their seven scores are known. Place an X over the question mark where the seventh score should go.
245
?
179
142 <— Median
?
139
135
111
6. This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of nine children. Place an X on the graph such that the median age is 5.
7. This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of nine children. Place an X on the graph where the median age should be.
8. This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of nine children. Place an X on the graph where the median age should be.
9. This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of ten children. The median age of the ten children is 7.5. Place the tenth X on the graph where it should be.
10. This graph is meant to show the age (in years) of ten children. The median age of the ten children is 3.5. Place the tenth X on the graph where it should be.
Practice – Answers
1. $179,000
$225,000
$179,000 <— Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
$125,000
2. $202,000
$276,000
$225,000
<– $202,000 <– Median for even number of numbers =
$179,000
$125,000
3. 15
4. 161.5
5.
245
X
179
142 <— Median for odd number of numbers = Middle Number
139
135
111
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.