Suggested answer to exercise: GPs' incomes, 2

Some GPs received an income of more than 250,00 per year from the National Health Service, whereas the average GP income was 94,000 per year.

Question 2. What would be the difference in interpretation if the average were the median rather than the arithmetic mean?

Suggested answer

In a positively skew distribution, the arithmetic mean usually exceeds the median.

If the average is the mean, the median will be less than 94,000 and hence even nearer to the minimum than is 94,000.

The distribution would be more skew if this average were the median income than if it were the arithmetic mean income.

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Last updated: 19 January, 2009.

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