- Definition: An arithmetic mean is a simple raw average. It is the total sum divided by the quantity. It is sometimes known as an unweighted average
Calculating an Average
For example (1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 9). The arithmetic mean is 19/6 = 3.17
Arithmetic means are used in situations such as working out cricket averages.
Arithmetic means are used in calculating average incomes and GDP per capita statistics.
However, arithmetic means can give slightly misleading statistics. For example in Saudi Arabia, the average GDP per capita is quite high. However, the average is boosted by very high levels of income amongst a few people. Most people get a much lower income.
In the example at the top. The mean is 3.17, but 5 out of the 6 numbers are less than 3.