Computing the Median in Excel

Fundamentals of Social Statistics by Adam J. McKee

To compute the Median in Excel, use the MEDIAN function.  It is formatted just like the AVERAGE function, which returns the mean.

Figure 13: The Median in Excel.
Figure 13: The Median in Excel.

Since the mean median is not very sensitive to extreme scores, it is the preferred method of measuring central tendency when we know such scores are present.  For example, median household income is usually reported by the Bureau of the Census instead of mean household income. This is because mean household income is overstated by the presence of a relatively small number of extremely wealthy households. As a result, median household income is thought to be a superior measure of how standards of living are changing over time.

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Last Modified:  06/03/2021

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