# Read detail seciton before answering. Does everyone know the difference between median and average?

Asked by Jim Walker, Carmichael, CA Sat Aug 11, 2007

You are in a room with Bill Gates, Warrent Buffet and seventeen other Trulia.com readers and posters.
The average net worth of all those present is approximatly \$9 billion.
The median net worth (half are below, half are above) is about \$20,000.

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I think you need to answer my question of how to set a price for Monty Burn's 10,000 sq ft mansion when all the other homes within 200 miles are 1800 sq ft.
Ruth
Web Reference: http://www.oak-park-il.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 11, 2007
MVP'08
Hey, I don't know why you are getting some knocks. It is an interesting question. I am glad you asked it. I like having to think in a different way
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
Jim, There you go making think about something or look something up. Here is what I found.
The big difference between the median and average is illustrated in a simple example.
Suppose 19 paupers and 1 billionaire are in a room. Everyone removes all money from their pockets and puts it on a table. Each pauper puts \$5 on the table; the billionaire puts \$1 billion (i.e.\$109) there. The total is then \$1,000,000,095. If that money is divided equally among the 20 people, each gets \$50,000,004.75. That amount is the average amount of money that the 20 people brought into the room. But the median amount is \$5, since one may divide the group into two groups of 10 people each, and say that everyone in the first group brought in no more than \$5, and each person in the second group brought in no less than \$5. In a sense, the median is the amount that the typical person brought in. By contrast, the mean (or "average") is not at all typical, since nobody in the room brought in an amount approximating \$50,000,004.75.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median
Hmmm...that would seem to imply that at least half of us using Trulia are losers!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
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Bruce, Detail section {not seticon, that was a typographical error. there does not seem to be a spell check on Trulia. I am touch typing in the dark, so I make mistakes sometimes. Also Trulia doesn't seem to allow me to increase the type size while I am typing or reading. I am an old old man with poor eyesight and trembly fingers, but immense wisdom. } You read my example which was in the detail section (or seticon if the fingers slip:>)
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No Cindi,

I certainly did not imply that. For me to have implied that, i would have had to state that the 17 Trulia users and you were financially representative of the trulia community as a whole. I did not do that.

I would then have had to give some subjective opinion as to what level of net worth defines some one as a "the word you used-Trulia profanity guidelines don't allow me to quote it" and what level is a "winner" I did not do that either. You have, though, and by your analysis, the break point is somewher north of \$20,000.

Your post adds value to this thread because it points out that occasionally, people will make assumptions about averages and medians, percentage increases and decreases and all other kinds of numbers and statistics that are unsupported by what is known about those statistics.

Link below slices and dices US net worth statistics in great detail.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 12, 2007
MVP'08
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NO not everyone knows. However, I couldn't find the seciton and not sure really what it is. However your example is good. If all the people in your example were homeowners the median again would likely be higher than the average. It can be misleading.
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