Excel MEDIAN function

Summary

The Excel MEDIAN function calculates the median of a given set of numbers, which is the middle value in a sorted list. If there’s an even number of observations, MEDIAN finds the average of the two middle numbers. This function is crucial for statistical analysis, providing a measure of central tendency that is less affected by outliers than the average.
Syntax
				
					=MEDIAN(number1, [number2], ...)
				
			
  • number1: The first number, cell reference, or range for which you want to find the median.
  • number2, …: [Optional] Additional numbers, cell references, or ranges to consider in the median calculation, up to 255.
Return value
The median value among the given numbers or within the specified range.

How to use

To use the MEDIAN function, input directly numbers or specify cell references/ranges that contain the data for which you want to calculate the median. MEDIAN sorts all values from the smallest to the largest and then determines the middle value.

Examples

Simple MEDIAN
Finding the Median Score: To determine the middle score from a list of student scores.
				
					=MEDIAN(A1:A10)
				
			
If A1:A10 contains scores ranging from 55 to 98, MEDIAN identifies the score in the middle of this range. For an odd number of scores, it’s the exact middle score; for an even number, it’s the average of the two middle scores.
MEDIAN with Direct Values
Comparing Individual Numbers Directly: To find the median among several directly specified values.
				
					=MEDIAN(23, 47, 35, 89, 56)
				
			
This formula directly calculates the median of 23, 47, 35, 89, and 56, providing the middle value in this ordered set.
MEDIAN Across Multiple Ranges
Identifying the Median Value Across Different Data Sets: To locate the median value in non-adjacent ranges.
				
					=MEDIAN(B2:B10, D2:D10)
				
			
Assuming B2:B10 and D2:D10 contain different sets of numbers, MEDIAN evaluates both ranges and returns the median value found across all the numbers.
MEDIAN with Non-Numeric Cells
Excluding Non-Numeric Entries: To find the median value in a range that also includes text or blanks.
				
					=MEDIAN(E1:E10)
				
			
If E1:E10 includes numbers, text, and empty cells, MEDIAN disregards the non-numeric entries and calculates the median of the numeric values only.

Additional Notes

  • The MEDIAN function is a robust measure of central tendency, especially useful in datasets with outliers.
  • It can be applied to both small and large datasets and is often used in conjunction with other statistical functions like AVERAGE and MODE.

Related Functions

Excel AVERAGE function

The Excel AVERAGE function calculates the mean of numbers, essential for summarizing central tendencies in data sets.

Excel MODE function

The Excel MODE function determines the most frequently occurring number in a data set, useful for identifying common values.

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