Arithmetic Mean

Merits of Arithmetic mean

  • It has a specific formula.
  • It is easy to calculate and understand.
  • It uses all the observations in the data set.
  • Further algebraic treatment is possible on the mean and hence further analysis can be carried out.
  • It is not affected much by sampling fluctuations. Sampling fluctuations are the variation in the statistic value for different samples from the same population.

Demerits of Arithmetic mean

  • It is affected by extreme values. Note here that the median and mode are not easily affected by extreme values. As an example, consider the following data sets and their central tendencies.

    * In the above table, the value 500 creates a huge difference in the mean but brings no change in the mode and median.
  • It is a value which may not be present in the data
  • Sometimes it gives absurd results for example while calculating the average number of books in the library per subject, the mean could be 250.32 books.  
  • If data contains open end class intervals than it cannot be calculated
  • Since the mean is based on all observations, even if one observation is missing, we cannot calculate the mean.
  • It can’t be found graphically.






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