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Median Calculator: What's the Middle Value in a Set?

Written by:
PK

Below is a median calculator, which will calculate the median from a set of numbers. Enter any numbers (including decimals or negatives) and the tool will return the median.

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Median Calculator

What is the Median of a Set of Numbers?

The median of a set of numbers is the number that splits the higher numbers from the lower numbers in an ordered set. When a set of numbers has an even length, the median is the average of the middle two numbers.

Along with arithmetic average (the sum of the numbers divided by the number of numbers) and mode (number(s) that appear most in the set) it's a colloquial way to describe the central tendency of a set of numbers.

Finding a Median in a Set

To find the median of a set of numbers, first sort the numbers from low to high, then pick out the "middle" number. In the case your list is an even length, pick the middle two numbers and average them.

This is better shown than told; let's walk through some examples.

Examples of Finding Medians

Let's say you have the numbers: -3, -5, 6, 2, 2. Here's how you find the median:

-3, -5, 6, 2, 2 = \\-5, -3, \raisebox{.5pt}{\textcircled{\raisebox{-.9pt} {2}}}, 2, 6 =\\median = 2

That works well for odd length lists. However, what if you have an even length list?

Let's add 1 to the above list: 1, -3, -5, 6, 2, 2

1, -3, -5, 6, 2, 2 = \\-5, -3, \raisebox{.5pt}{\textcircled{\raisebox{-.9pt} {1}}}, \raisebox{.5pt}{\textcircled{\raisebox{-.9pt} {2}}}, 2, 6 =\\median = \frac{1+2}{2}=1.5

Using the Median Calculator

To use the median calculator, enter your list of numbers in the box. The input is very forgiving – as long as you separate numbers with non-numbers it should work. Try commas, spaces, new lines, tabs, etc.

When you're done, hit the Compute Median button and we'll show you the median of the list. To check we understood your input, look at the list length in the Number of Values Input box.

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