Åk 6–9

3.5 Mean or Median?
It is good to know when you should use the mean and the median.  You can lie with statistics so that you can confuse instead of clarify and show reality.

Here are two examples:

In example A, you see what the group of friends earns from the beginning.  In example B, Åsa has gotten a new job and a new wage.

We show the difference by using a column diagram.

Example A
In example A, the mean and the median are close to each other.

Example B
In example B, the mean and the median are far from each other because Åsa’s salary increases the mean.

Many times, there is an advantage to using both the mean and the median.  Then you get for example a better picture about how the wages are spread out in a group.