Statistics How To

Find the Mean of a Data Set in Easy Steps

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How to Find the Mean: Overview

how to find the mean

Dividing the sum by the number of items to find the mean.


The mean in mathematics can have several meanings, but in statistics it is always the average. The mean is found by adding the numbers in a data set and then dividing by the number of items. For example, to find the mean of 1, 2, and 3:

  1. 1 + 2 + 3 = 6
  2. 6 / 3 = 2.

Use a calculator to find the mean to avoid making errors.

How to Find the Mean of a Data Set: Steps.


Sample problem 1: Find the mean for the following set of numbers: 1, 5, 6, 8, 3, 5, 11, 19, 21, 34.

Step 1: Add up all of your numbers:
1 + 5 + 6 + 8 + 3 + 5 + 11 + 19 + 21 + 34 = 113.

find the mean step 1

Adding the numbers on a calculator is the first step to find the mean.




Step 2: Count the number of items in your set. There are 10 numbers in the set: 1, 5, 6, 8, 3, 5, 11, 19, 21, 34.

Step 3: Divide the number you calculated in Step 1 by the number you found in Step 2.
Mean = 113 / 10.
find the mean 2

Dividing the sum by the number of items to find the mean.


The mean for this data set is 11.3.

Sample problem 2: Find the mean for this set of numbers: 101, 135, 156, 156.1, 190.5:
Step 1: Sum (add up) all of your numbers:
101 + 135 + 156 + 156.1 + 190.5 = 738.6.

how to find the mean 2

Did you know Google has a built in calculator? Just type your numbers into Google.


Step 2: Count the number of items in your set. There are 5 numbers in the set.

Step 3: Divide the number you calculated in Step 1 by the number you found in Step 2.
Mean = 738.6 / 5 = 147.72.
The mean for this data set is 147.72.

That’s it!

Find the Mean on the TI 89 Graphing Calculator

ti 89 mean
Instead of adding lists of numbers and trying to remember formulas, the TI-89 does the work for you and keeps the formulas in its memory. While it’s important to know the basics (for example, what a mean is and how it’s calculated), it isn’t necessary (or fun!) to do the same types of calculations manually over and over again. Find the TI 89 mean with these easy steps.

TI 89 Mean: Steps

Watch the video or read the steps below:

Sample problem: Find the mean of the following set of data: 12, 23, 78, 98, 121, 342, 88, 7, 27.

Step 1: Get to the HOMEscreen by pressing the HOME button. You can also access the home screen from the APPS menu. Click APPS and then use the arrow keys to scroll to the HOME icon. Press ENTER.

Step 2: Press the CATALOG key (located below the APPS key).

Step 3: Press the ALPHA key (a white key to the left of the Apps key, then the number 5. This is you actually entering the letter ‘M’ which will bring you to the letter “M” in the catalog.

Step 4: Scroll down to “mean(” and press ENTER.

Step 5: Press the 2nd key (a light blue key at the top left) then the ( key. This enters a curly bracket.

Step 6: Enter your data set and separate each number by a comma; the comma key is above the 9 key. In our example, you’ll enter 12, 23, 78, 98, 121, 342, 88, 7, 27.

Step 7: Press the 2nd key, then the ).

Step 8: Press ENTER. Your answer may be given as a fraction: 796/9 (that’s the exact answer). To get a decimal answer, press the ♦ diamond key then ENTER to get 88.4444.

Lost your guidebook? You can download a new one from the TI website here.

Find more help with statistics on our YouTube channel.

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If you prefer an online interactive environment to learn R and statistics, this free R Tutorial by Datacamp is a great way to get started. If you're are somewhat comfortable with R and are interested in going deeper into Statistics, try this Statistics with R track.

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Find the Mean of a Data Set in Easy Steps was last modified: October 24th, 2017 by Stephanie Glen