In a story on February, Union staff reporter Trina Kleist writes about median-prices homes.
What a home can cost, February 2, 2006
What does it take to buy the median-priced home in Nevada County?
The median price of a single-family house in 2005 rose to $460,000, up nearly 19.5 percent from the year before. For single-family house sales in the month of December, the median hit $475,000, according to information gathered by the national research company DataQuick Information Systems, based in San Diego.
In a follow up story she writes again about median-priced homes. Only this time she explains what median means. Bravo!
Median house price be. February 7, 2006
The median wage in 2005 for all jobs in northeastern California is $17.36, or about $36,100 yearly before taxes, based on a 40-hour work week, according to state figures.
The median is not the average. Rather, it is the exact middle, where half of everything measured is higher and half is lower. It is the number preferred by statisticians tracking wages, housing costs and most other statistics in the state.
I wish she had taken the time in her first story to provide this explanation. Many Union readers do not have the math skills to know the difference between, average, mean, and median.
With an election, community surveys, and economic studies on the horizion, I decided it was time for me to re-sharpen my statistical skills. We are going to be barraged with statistics in 2006. I am half way through Even You Can Learn Statistics, A guide for Everyone Who has Ever Been Afraid of Statistics, by David M. Levine. This is an excellent book, with easy to understand step-by step explanations of statistics, including interactive samples in Excel and TI-83/84 Calculators. The Excel examples are down loaded from the publishers web site. You can play with the numbers in Excel and as see the results, a great interactive learning tool.
We all need to sharpen our analytical skills, so we can understand what we read in the Union, hear on TV, and read in those political flyers appearing in our mail boxs any day now. Be prepared!
In the coming months, in this category, we will be providing more information, and some advice on how to sharpen your analytical and numeracy skills.