Median vs. Mean – Comparison & Differences

Mean and Median are two mathematical terms highly used worldwide in various fields. Both are similar in many ways as well as have some key differences. The Arithmetic Mean, or Average, is a mathematical representation and Average of a set.

Main Difference

The Median is the middle value of data arranged in ascending and descending orders. Moreover, both differ in how they have calculated and the information they provide. Let us discuss the main differences between the Mean and Median in detail to justify the confusion of the users.

What is the Median?

The Median is the middle value when the data is arranged in an order. There is no medium item if there is an even number of items. The Median is not affected by outliers. It may not accurately represent the average value if data is not normally distributed. M or Med are the symbols to mean the Median.

What is Mean?

The Arithmetic Mean, also known as Average, represents typical values of a series of numbers. It is computed as a sum of digits of quantities in a sequence divided by the total number of amounts in a series. Moreover, for the grouped data, the Mean can be calculated by multiplying with the class frequencies and dividing it by the sum of all frequencies. The symbols used to represent the Mean are population means or sample mean.

Furthermore, it provides a precise measure of central tendency. The Mean is affected by extreme values because it is incapable of higher importance. The Mean is usually the best single figure to represent all the data.

Key Differences between Mean and Median

  1. Mean is the Average of all the quantities in a series. On the other hand, the Median is the middle value of data when arranged in ascending or descending order.
  2. Outliers can affect the Mean, while outliers cannot affect the Median.
  3. Population means it is the symbol of. Meanwhile, the Med and M are symbols of the Median.
  4. The Mean is calculated by summing all values and dividing them by the total number of values. On the other hand, the Median is calculated by the middleweight of the data set.
  5. The Median is robust to outliers, whereas the Mean refers to a precise measurement.

Comparison Chart – Median vs. Mean

Features Mean Median
Definition Arithmetic Average of a series The middle value of a set of numbers when arranged in ascending and descending order
Calculation The sum of values is divided by the total number of values The middle value of the data set
Affected by extreme value Yes, I Mean affected by outlier No, the Median does not act by outlier
Symbol Population mean, or sample mean M or Med


We conclude that Median and Mean are two different mathematical terms that are widely using in all over the world. Both have different definitions, calculations, purposes, and symbols.

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