Clinical Research Glossary

median median


The middle number in a set of numbers when listed in order from lowest to highest.

Example of median in a sentence

In math, the median is the middle number in a set of numbers.

More Info

The median is the middle, and it is not the same as the mean or average.

For example, 5 is the median in the set of numbers 2, 3, 5, 30, and 50, because 5 is in the middle when the numbers are ordered from lowest to highest.

Finding out the median can be useful if there are data that are outside the expected range. In the example above, 5 is the median, and that is far lower than the mean of 18 (that is, 2+3+5+30+50= 90; 90/5=18), showing that the data are not evenly spread out.

Other info to think about when joining a study

You might see the term “median” used to describe the the middle number in a set of data. You may see this term used in study results reports.

If you receive study results that report the median of a data set and you have questions about that information, you can reach out to the study team to learn more.

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