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How to Find the Mean

The mean is just the average of the numbers.

It is easy to calculate: Just add up all the numbers, then divide by how many numbers there are. (In other words it is the sum divided by the count)

Example 1:

What is the Mean of these numbers?

3, 10, 5

Add the numbers: 3 + 10 + 5 = 18

Divide by how many numbers (ie we added 3 numbers): 18 ÷ 3 = 6

The Mean is 6

Example 2:

Look at these numbers:

3, 7, 5, 13, 20, 23, 39, 23, 40, 23, 14, 12, 56, 23, 29

The sum of these numbers is equal to 330

There are fifteen numbers.

The mean is equal to 330 ÷ 15 = 22

The mean of the above numbers is 22

 

Negative Numbers

How do you handle negative numbers? Adding a negative number is the same as subtracting the number (without the negative). For example 3 + (-2) = 3-2 = 1. So, knowing this, let us try an example:

Example 3:

Find the mean of these numbers:

3, -7, 5, 13, -2

The sum of these numbers is 3-7+5+13-2 = 12

There are 5 numbers.

The mean is equal to 12 ÷ 5 = 2.4

The mean of the above numbers is 2.4