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One of the most important objectives of statistical analysis is to get one single value that describes the characteristic of the entire mass of unwieldy data. Such a value is called central value or an average or the expected value of the variable.

The term " average " has been defined by various authors. Some important definitions are given below.

  • "Average is an attempt to find one single figure to describe whole of figures" -Clark
  • " An average is a single value selected from a group of values to represent them in some way-a value which is supposed to stand for whole group, of which it is a part, as typical of all the values in he group" -A.E Waugh
  • " An average is a typical value in the sense that it is sometimes employed to represent all the individual values in a series or of a variable" -Ya-Lun-Chou
  • "An average is a single value within the range of the data that is used to represent all the values in the series.Since an average is somewhere within the range of the data. It is also called a measure of central value" - Croxton &Cowden


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