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In a population or a sample, the median is the value that has just as many values above it as below it. If there are an even number of values, the median is the average of the two middle values. The median is a measure of central tendency. The median can also be defined as the 50th percentile.

For symmetrical distributions the median coincides with the mean and the center of the distribution. For this reason, the median of a sample is often used as an estimator of the center of the distribution. If the distribution has heavier tails than the normal distribution, than the sample median is usually a more precise estimator of the distribution center than the sample mean.

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