Aussies people on the move


This article presents some interesting statistics on the household movements of Australians during their lifetimes. Two aspects related to measures of central tendency could be discussed with the use of this article. The use of the term "average" in the first sentence is quite nebulous. There is no indication of whether 11 moves represents the arithmetic mean, the median or the mode of the data set. Arguments could be given as to why any of the three measures might or might not be appropriate for this type of data.

The specific use of median in the last paragraph provides an opportunity to discuss its appropriateness for these data. Might it be more or less appropriate for people as they get older?

This article would also be a good motivator for a class to collect its own data on the number of times children had moved in their lives. This could also provide data collected on the length of time children have lived in houses which could be summarised using the median. Discussion should take place on why the median value for the class might be different from a class of older or younger students.


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