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Averages

In statistics, an average is defined as the number that measures the central tendency of a given set of
numbers. There are a number of different averages including but not limited to: mean, median, mode
and range.

Mean
Mean is what most people commonly refer to as an average. The mean refers to the number you
obtain when you sum up a given set of numbers and then divide this sum by the total number in the
set. Mean is also referred to more correctly as arithmetic mean.

Given a set of n elements from a1 to an

The mean is found by adding up all the a's and then dividing by the total number, n

This can be generalized by the formula below:

Mean Example Problems


Example 1

Find the mean of the set of numbers below

Solution

The first step is to count how many numbers there are in the set, which we shall call n

The next step is to add up all the numbers in the set

The last step is to find the actual mean by dividing the sum by n

Mean can also be found for grouped data, but before we see an example on that, let us first define
frequency.

Frequency in statistics means the same as in everyday use of the word. The frequency an element in a
set refers to how many of that element there are in the set. The frequency can be from 0 to as many
as possible. If you're told that the frequency an element a is 3, that means that there are 3 as in the
set.

Example 2

Find the mean of the set of ages in the table below

Age (years)

Frequency

10

11

12

13

14

Solution

The first step is to find the total number of ages, which we shall call n. Since it will be tedious to count
all the ages, we can find nby adding up the frequencies:

Next we need to find the sum of all the ages. We can do this in two ways: we can add up each
individual age, which will be a long and tedious process; or we can use the frequency to make things
faster.

Since we know that the frequency represents how many of that particular age there are, we can just
multiply each age by its frequency, and then add up all these products.

The last step is to find the mean by dividing the sum by n

Population Mean vs Sample Mean


In the Introduction to Statistics section, we defined a population and a sample whereby a sample is a
part of a population.

In statistics there are two kinds of means: population mean and sample mean. A population mean is
the true mean of the entire population of the data set while a sample mean is the mean of a small
sample of the population. These different means appear frequently in both statistics and probability
and should not be confused with each other.

Population mean is represented by the Greek letter (pronounced mu) while sample mean is
represented by xx (pronounced x bar). The total number of elements in a population is represented

by N while the number of elements in a sample is represented by n. This leads to an adjustment in the
formula we gave above for calculating the mean.

The sample mean is commonly used to estimate the population mean when the population mean is
unknown. This is because they have the same expected value.

Median
The median is defined as the number in the middle of a given set of numbers arranged in order of
increasing magnitude. When given a set of numbers, the median is the number positioned in the exact
middle of the list when you arrange the numbers from the lowest to the highest. The median is also a
measure of average. In higher level statistics, median is used as a measure of dispersion. The median
is important because it describes the behavior of the entire set of numbers.

Example 3

Find the median in the set of numbers given below

Solution

From the definition of median, we should be able to tell that the first step is to rearrange the given set
of numbers in order of increasing magnitude, i.e. from the lowest to the highest

Then we inspect the set to find that number which lies in the exact middle.

Lets try another example to emphasize something interesting that often occurs when solving for the
median.

Example 4

Find the median of the given data

Solution

As in the previous example, we start off by rearranging the data in order from the smallest to the
largest.

Next we inspect the data to find the number that lies in the exact middle.

We can see from the above that we end up with two numbers (4 and 5) in the middle. We can solve for
the median by finding the mean of these two numbers as follows:

Mode
The mode is defined as the element that appears most frequently in a given set of elements. Using the
definition of frequency given above, mode can also be defined as the element with the largest
frequency in a given data set.

For a given data set, there can be more than one mode. As long as those elements all have the same
frequency and that frequency is the highest, they are all the modal elements of the data set.

Example 5

Find the Mode of the following data set.

Solution

Mode = 3 and 15

Mode for Grouped Data


As we saw in the section on data, grouped data is divided into classes. We have defined mode as the
element which has the highest frequency in a given data set. In grouped data, we can find two kinds of
mode: the Modal Class, or class with the highest frequency and the mode itself, which we calculate
from the modal class using the formula below.

where

L is the lower class limit of the modal class

f1 is the frequency of the modal class

f0 is the frequency of the class before the modal class in the frequency table

f2 is the frequency of the class after the modal class in the frequency table

h is the class interval of the modal class

Example 6

Find the modal class and the actual mode of the data set below

Number

Frequency

1-3

4-6

7-9

10 - 12

13 - 15

16 - 18

19 - 21

22 - 24

25 - 27

28 - 30

Solution

Modal class = 10 - 12

where

L = 10

f1 = 9

f0 = 4

f2 = 2

h=3

therefore,

Solving the above using the order of operations:

Range
The range is defined as the difference between the highest and lowest number in a given data set.

Example 7

Find the range of the data set below

Solution

Assumed Mean
In the section on averages, we learned how to calculate the mean for a given set of data. The data we
looked at was ungrouped data and the total number of elements in the data set was not that large.
That method is not always a realistic approach especially if you're dealing with grouped data.

That's where the assumed mean comes into play.

Assumed mean, like the name suggests, is a guess or an assumption of the mean. Assumed mean is
most commonly denoted by the letter a. It doesn't need to be correct or even close to the actual mean
and choice of the assumed mean is at your discretion except for where the question explicitly asks you
to use a certain assumed mean value.

Assumed mean is used to calculate the actual mean as well as the variance and standard deviation as
we'll see later.

Assumed mean can be calculated from the following formula:

It's very important to remember that the above formula only applies to grouped data with equal class
intervals.

Now let us define each term used in the formula:

xx is the mean which we're trying to find.

a is the assumed mean.

h is the class interval which we looked at in the section on data.

fi is the frequency of each class, we find the total frequency of all the classes
in the data set (fi) by adding up all the fi 's

Each ui is found from the following formula:

where h is the class interval and each di is the difference between the mid
element in a class and the assumed mean.

d is calculated from the following formula:

where x is the midpoint of a given class.

x is obtained from the following:

xi is the number in the middle of a given class.

Therefore ui becomes

Let's try an example to see how to apply the assumed mean method for finding mean.

Example 1
The student body of a certain school were polled to find out what their hobbies were. The number of
hobbies each student had was then recorded and the data obtained was grouped into classes shown in
the table below. Using an assumed mean of 17, find the mean for the number of hobbies of the
students in the school.

Number of hobbies

Frequency

0-4

45

5-9

58

10 - 14

27

15 - 19

30

20 - 24

19

25 - 29

11

30 - 34

35 - 40

Solution

We have been given the assumed mean a as 17 and we know the formula for finding mean from the
assumed mean as

we can find the class interval by using the class limits as follows:

We now have one component we need and we're one step closer to finding the mean.

So we can solve the rest of this problem using a table where by we find each remaining component of
the formula and then substitute at the end:
Hobbies
0-4
5-9
10 - 14
15 - 19
20 - 24

Frequency fi
45
58
27
30
19

xi
2
7
12
17
22

ui = dih

di = xi - a
-15
-10
-5
0
5

-3
-2
-1
0
1

fiui
-135
-116
-27
0
19

25 - 29
30 - 34
35 - 40

11
8
2
fi = 200

27
32
37

10
15
20

2
3
4

22
24
8
fiui = -202

substituting

The mean number of hobbies is 11.95.

Tutorial on how to read and interpret pie charts.


Example 1:
The pie chart below shows the percentages of blood types for a group of 200
people.
a) How many people, in this group, have blood type AB?
b) How many people, in this group, do not have blood type O?
c) How many people, in this group, have blood types A or B?

Solution to Example 1:
a) 19% * 200 = 19 * 200 / 100 = 38 people
b) (100% - 40%) * 200 = 60 * 200 / 100 = 120 people
c) (16% + 25%) * 200 = 41 * 200 / 100 = 82
Example 2:
The pie chart below shows the percentages of types of transportation used by
800 students to come to school.
a) How many students, in the school, come to school by bicycle?
b) How many students do not walk to school?
c) How many students come to school by bus or in a car?

Solution to Example 2:
a) 45% * 800 = 360 students
b) (100% - 15%) * 800 = 680 students
c) (30% + 10%) * 800 = 320 students
Example 3:
The pie chart below shows the percentages of the world population in each
continent. The present world population is about 7 billion.
a) How many people live in Africa?
b) How many people do not live in Asia than?
c) How many more people live in North America than in South America?

Solution to Example 3:
a) 15% * 7 = 1.05 billion
b) 7 - 60.4% * 7 = 2.772 billion
c) (7.3% - 6%) * 7 = 91 million
Example 4:
The total area of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and
Australia is 134 million square kilometers. The pie chart below shows the
percentages of each continent.
a) What is the area of Asia?
b) What is the area Europe?
c) How much bigger is Africa than Europe?

Solution to Example 4:
a) 33.2% * 134 = 44.5 million square kilometers
b) 7.5% * 134 = 10.5 million square kilometers
c) (22.3% - 7.5%) * 134 = 19.8 million square kilometers

The bar graph given below shows the sales of books (in thousand number) from six branches of
a publishing company during two consecutive years 2000 and 2001.
Sales of Books (in thousand numbers) from Six Branches - B1, B2, B3, B4, B5 and
B6 of a publishing Company in 2000 and 2001.

1.
What is the ratio of the total sales of branch B2 for both years to the total sales of
branch B4 for both years?

A.

2:3

B.

3:5

C.

4:5

D.

7:9

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2.
Total sales of branch B6 for both the years is what percent of the total sales of branches
B3 for both the years?

A.

68.54%

B.

71.11%

C.

73.17%

D.

75.55%

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3.
What percent of the average sales of branches B1, B2 and B3 in 2001 is the average
sales of branches B1, B3 and B6 in 2000?

A.

75%

B.

77.5%

C.

82.5%

D.

87.5%

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4.
What is the average sales of all the branches (in thousand numbers) for the year 2000?

A.

73

B.

80

C.

83

D.

88

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5.
Total sales of branches B1, B3 and B5 together for both the years (in thousand numbers)
is?

A.

250

B.

310

C.

435

D.

560