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Definition: Mean

Mean is the measure of central tendency of the dataset consisting of random variables. For discrete random variables, mean value is given by dividing the sum of the variables by the number of variables in the dataset. This is also known as the arithmetic mean.

For continuous random variables, mean is given by the summation of the product of the values of x and its probability. Arithmetic mean is used in statistics, sociology, economics, etc for calculating mean income, mean population, etc.


Formula : For discrete random variables, mean = (a1 + a2 + …. + an)/n


For continuous random variables, mean = ∑x P(x)


Eg – mean of 2, 4, 6 is (2 + 4 + 6)/3 = 4


There are two more types of means – geometric mean and harmonic mean. Geometric mean is used in calculating CAGR in economics, industries, etc. Harmonic mean is used in calculation of speed, harmonic frequencies in physics, etc.



Geometric mean = ( ∏an )1/n

Harmonic mean = n ( ∑ 1/xi)-1


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