Department for Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions is the largest government department in the United Kingdom, is responsible for welfare and pension policy. The department has four operational organisations: Jobcentre Plus administers working age benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance, decides which claimants receive Employment and Support Allowance; the department was created on 8 June 2001 as a merger of the Department of Social Security, Employment Service and the policy groups of the Department for Education and Employment involved in employment policy and international issues. The department was tasked with creating Jobcentre Plus and the Pensions Service from the remains of the Employment Service and the Benefits Agency; the department is therefore responsible for pension policy. It aims "to help its customers become financially independent and to help reduce child poverty". In 2019 the department was found by an independent inquiry to have broken its own rules, in a case where a disabled woman killed herself in 2017 after her benefits were stopped when she missed a Work Capability Assessment because she had pneumonia.
Previous research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health by Oxford University and Liverpool University had found that there were an additional 590 suicides between 2010 and 2013 in areas where such assessments were carried out. The researchers said that the DWP had introduced the policy of moving people off benefits without understanding the consequences; the DWP Ministers are: The Permanent Secretary is Peter Schofield. With the creation of the department in June 2001, the Pension Service was created, bringing together many different departments and divisions; the Pension Service is a'dedicated service for current and future pensioners'. The Pension Service consists of local Pension Centres and centrally-based centres, many of latter are based at the Tyneview Park complex in Newcastle upon Tyne. At Tyneview Park the following centres are found: Future Pension Centre provides state pension forecasts for people approaching retirement age. Newcastle Pension Centre dealt with the London area, the Home Counties, part of West Midlands.
Now the service is virtual. Pension Tracing Service helps track old pensions and pension schemes. International Pension Centre deals with all enquiries regarding the payment of state pension, bereavement benefits, incapacity benefits and other such benefits for those living abroad. Local Pension Centres deal with localised claims for retirement related benefits. Pension Centres are found all over the country. Benefits dealt with at local Pension Centres include: Pension Credit Winter Fuel Payments Cold Weather Payments The Disability and Carers Service offers financial support for those who are disabled and their carers, whether in or out of employment; the DCS have offices throughout the country and deal with the following benefits: Disability Living Allowance Attendance Allowance Carer's Allowance Vaccine Damage Payment Personal Independence PaymentThe department has been found to invite disabled people to interviews in buildings which are themselves not accessible to people with disabilities.
When the person does not attend the interview they deny the person disability benefits, causing malnutrition and destitution. The DWP systematically underpaid disabled claimants who were transferred from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support allowance risking hardship for claimants. A cross party committee of MP's, the Public Accounts Committee accused the DWP of a culture of indifference to claimants. Before 2008, The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service were two separate executive agencies. Both former agencies kept their corporate branding and provided services under their separate identities; the decision was made due to the two agencies sharing about half of the same customers. The status of PDCS as an executive agency was removed on 1 October 2011 with the functions being brought back inside the department. Prior to July 2012 the Child Support Agency was the operating arm of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. All are now operated wholly from within the department, with the names continuing as brand identifiers.
The department's public bodies include: the Health and Safety Executive the Pensions Ombudsman the Pensions RegulatorThe department has corporate buildings in London, Blackpool, Aberdeen, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sheffield. Jobcentre Plus, The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service operate through a network of around 1,000 Jobcentres, contact centres and benefit processing centres across the UK; the total annual budget of the department in 2011-12 is £151.6 billion, representing 28% of total UK Government spending. The department spends a far greater share of national wealth than any other department in Britain, by a wide margin; the department spends an average of £348
Institute for Fiscal Studies
The Institute for Fiscal Studies is an economic research institute based in London, United Kingdom, which specialises in UK taxation and public policy. It produces both academic and policy-related findings; the Institute's aim is to "advance education for the benefit of the public by promoting on a non-political basis the study and discussion of and the exchange and dissemination of information and knowledge concerning national economic and social effects and influences of existing taxes and proposed changes in fiscal systems."It is located in the Bloomsbury area of Central London, adjacent to the University of Law and close to the British Museum and University College London. The Institute was founded in response to the passing of the Finance Act 1965 by four financial professionals: a banker and Conservative Party politician, an investment trust manager, a stockbroker, a tax consultant. In 1964, the Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan had made a speech announcing his intentions to make changes to the tax system, including the introduction of a capital gains tax and a corporation tax.
The group felt that the proposals were "half-baked". Nils Taube had commissioned John Chown to prepare a professional analysis of the speech and its effect on share prices. Chown described what he thought the impact of the proposals would be if implemented but treated the exercise as a "reductio ad absurdum" and suggested that "the government and its advisors had three or four months for second thoughts and, recognising some of the dire consequences, would modify their original proposals." The Chancellor did not change his mind. This led to further discussion among the group about their views on tax reform and the Budget process. In Chown's words, the group wanted to ensure that "never again should a government, regardless of its political colour and intentions, introduce far-reaching tax legislation without the benefit of deep and thorough analysis of second- and third-order effects."In 1967 a brainstorming weekend took place at The Bell, Aston Clinton. In the same year, the group published A Charter for the Taxpayer with proposals for tax changes in The Times, Jeremy Skinner and Halmer Hudson joined the group.
Will Hopper has recalled that the idea of a research institute did not take shape until some time at a dinner, attended by Bob Buist, John Chown, Nils Taube and himself on 30 July 1968 at the Stella Alpina restaurant, 32 North Audley Street, London, at which a decision was made to found the Institute. Will Hopper proposed the name'Institute for Fiscal Studies'.'Fiscal' was selected rather than just'tax' "because we wished to include the other side of fisc. You cannot discuss the economic impact of taxation without looking at expenditure and the balance between the two." The Institute was formally incorporated on 21 May 1969. As well as research, the Institute had wider, unspoken objectives; the founders did not just want to start an Institute. In particular, the group's declared aims were "to alter the climate of opinion within which changes to the British tax system were considered. In 1970, Dick Taverne a Labour MP and a former Financial Secretary to the Treasury in the Wilson government, was approached to be the Institute's first director.
In 1971 a Council of the Institute was formed, with President Sir Richard Powell and Vice-Presidents Roy Jenkins and Selwyn Lloyd. In the same year an Executive Committee was formed, with Will Hopper as Chairman, Halmer Hudson as Secretary and Buist, Chown and Taube as Members. In 1972, the first full-time staff of the Institute were appointed. In 1974, the Institute moved from Bell Yard to Chandos Place. In 1975, the Meade Committee began its enquiries under the leadership of the Nobel laureate James Meade. Simon Akam wrote in The Guardian in 2016: "Meade was assisted by two young economists: John Kay, who would go on to become director of the IFS, Mervyn King, who would become governor of the Bank of England." In 1978, the Meade Report was published and the Institute moved to Castle Lane. In 1979, the Fiscal Studies publication was launched and the Working Paper series began. In 1980, the Armstrong Report was published. In 1982, the Report series was launched and the first Green Budget was issued.
In 1984, The Reform of Social Security document was published by the Institute. In 1985, the Institute moved to Tottenham Court Road. In 1987, the Capital Taxes Group was established. In 1990, the Institute moved to Ridgmount Street. In 1991, the ESRC Centre was inaugurated. In 1994, the Tax Law Review Committee was established. Areas of research covered by the Institute include public finance and spending and saving, company taxation, consumer behaviour and poverty and inequality. Although most of the Institute's research is UK-focused, recent work has looked at international development policies, for instance at education and nutrition programmes in Colombia. In October 2016, Professor Orazio Attanasio, the IFS' Research Director and Head of UCL Economics, won the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for his work in the latter field; the Institute is home to – or a partner in – the following research centres: Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies Tax Law Review Committee English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice Since 1991 the Institute has hosted an Economic and Social Rese
The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
City of London
The City of London is a city and county that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district of London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the agglomeration has since grown far beyond the City's borders; the City is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. Administratively, it forms one of the 33 local authority districts of Greater London, it is a separate county of England, being an enclave surrounded by Greater London. It is the smallest county in the United Kingdom; the City of London is referred to as the City and is colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi in area. Both of these terms are often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being based in the City; the name London is now ordinarily used for a far wider area than just the City.
London most denotes the sprawling London metropolis, or the 32 London boroughs, in addition to the City of London itself. This wider usage of London is documented as far back as 1888; the local authority for the City, namely the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It is unusual in having responsibilities and ownerships beyond its boundaries; the Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from the Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor, as of November 2018, is Peter Estlin; the City is a major business and financial centre. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, it continues to be a major meeting point for businesses. London came top in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index, published in 2008; the insurance industry is focused around Lloyd's building. A secondary financial district exists at Canary Wharf, 2.5 miles to the east.
The City work there. About three quarters of the jobs in the City of London are in the financial and associated business services sectors; the legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple and Middle Temple—fall within the City of London boundary. Known as "Londinium", the Roman legions established a settlement on the current site of the City of London around 43 AD, its bridge over the River Thames turned the city into a road nexus and major port, serving as a major commercial centre in Roman Britain until its abandonment during the 5th century. Archaeologist Leslie Wallace notes that, because extensive archaeological excavation has not revealed any signs of a significant pre-Roman presence, "arguments for a purely Roman foundation of London are now common and uncontroversial."At its height, the Roman city had a population of 45,000–60,000 inhabitants.
Londinium was an ethnically diverse city, with inhabitants from across the Roman Empire, including natives of Britannia, continental Europe, the Middle East, North Africa. The Romans built the London Wall some time between 190 and 225 AD; the boundaries of the Roman city were similar to those of the City of London today, though the City extends further west than Londonium's Ludgate, the Thames was undredged and thus wider than it is today, with Londonium's shoreline north of the City's present shoreline. The Romans built a bridge across the river, as early as 50 AD, near to today's London Bridge. By the time the London Wall was constructed, the City's fortunes were in decline, it faced problems of plague and fire; the Roman Empire entered a long period of instability and decline, including the Carausian Revolt in Britain. In the 3rd and 4th centuries, the city was under attack from Picts and Saxon raiders; the decline continued, both for Londinium and the Empire, in 410 AD the Romans withdrew from Britain.
Many of the Roman public buildings in Londinium by this time had fallen into decay and disuse, after the formal withdrawal the city became uninhabited. The centre of trade and population moved away from the walled Londinium to Lundenwic, a settlement to the west in the modern day Strand/Aldwych/Covent Garden area. During the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, the London area came in turn under the Kingdoms of Essex and Wessex, though from the mid 8th century it was under the control or threat of the Vikings. Bede records that in 604 AD St Augustine consecrated Mellitus as the first bishop to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Saxons and their king, Sæberht. Sæberht's uncle and overlord, Æthelberht, king of Kent, built a church dedicated to St Paul in London, as the seat of the new bishop, it is assumed, although unproven, that this first Anglo-Saxon cathedral stood on the same site as the medieval and the present cathedrals. Alfred the Great, King of Wessex and arguably the first king of the "English", occupied and began the resettlement of the old Roman walled area, in 886, appointed his son-in-law Earl Æthelred of Mercia over it as part of their reconquest of the Viking occupied parts of Englan
Poverty in the United Kingdom
This article is about poverty within the population of the United Kingdom as distinct from UK policy on world poverty. Despite being a developed country, those who are living at the lower end of the income distribution in the United Kingdom have a low standard of living. Data based on incomes published in 2016 by Department for Work and Pensions show that, after housing costs have been taken into consideration, the number of people living in the UK in relative poverty to be 13.44m In 2015, a report by Institute for Fiscal Studies reported that 21.6% of Britons were now in relative poverty. The report showed that there had been a fall in poverty in the first few years of the twenty-first century, but the rate of poverty had remained broadly flat since 2004/5, it has been found by the Poverty and Social Exclusion project at Bristol University in 2014, that the proportion of households lacking three items or activities deemed necessary for life in the UK at that time has increased from 14% in 1983 to 33% in 2012.
In 2018, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights found that UK Government policies and cuts to social support "are entrenching high levels of poverty and inflicting unnecessary misery", "driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity". However, his report was rejected by the UK Government, pointing to rising household incomes, declining income inequality and one million people fewer in absolute poverty since 2010. By the end of the 19th century more than 25% of the population was living at or below the subsistence level due to low wages. Only 75 per cent of population had enough money to access to food, clothes and fuel. In 1900, millions of population lived in terrible conditions such as badly built houses. At the same time, overcrowding led to the spread of disease. Things improved after the First World War, although poverty had not disappeared by the 1930s, it was much less than before. In the early 1950s, it was believed by numerous people that poverty had been all but abolished from Britain, with only a few isolated pockets of deprivation still remaining.
Much of this assumption was derived from a 1951 study which showed that in 1950 only 1.5% of the survey population lived in poverty, compared with 18% in 1936 when a previous study had been conducted in that town by Rowntree. A leader in The Times spoke positively of this'remarkable improvement – no less than the virtual abolition of the sheerest want.'Over the course of the 1950s and 1960s, however, a "rediscovery" of poverty took place, with various surveys showing that a substantial proportion of Britons were impoverished, with between 4% and 12% of the population estimated to be living below the Supplementary Benefits’ scales. In 1969, Professor A. Atkinson stated that "it seems fair to conclude that the proportion of the population with incomes below the National Assistance/Supplementary Benefits scale lies towards the upper end of the 4-9 per cent."According to this definition, between 2-5 million Britons were trapped in poverty. In addition, some 2.6 million people were in receipt of Supplementary Benefits and therefore living on the poverty line.
This meant. Bad housing conditions constituted a major cause of poverty in the postwar era. In the early Sixties, it was estimated that three million families lived in "slums, near slums on grossly overcrowded conditions," while a 1967 housing survey of England and Wales found that 11.7% of all dwellings were unfit. In their 1965 study on poverty, "The Poor and the Poorest," Professors Peter Townsend and Brian Abel-Smith decided to measure poverty on the basis of the National Assistance levels of living and estimated that some 14% of Britons lived in poverty. Townsend and Abel-Smith estimated that since the mid-1950s the percentage of the population living in poverty had risen from 8% to 14%; the continued existence of poverty in the 1960s was characterised by differences in health between different social classes. In 1964-65 the incidence of infant deaths was more than half as much higher in the two lowest social classes than in the two highest social classes. In 1961-62 28% of all men recorded at least one spell of sickness of four days or more.
For the lowest social classes, however, 35% of men had experienced this, compared with 18% of men in the highest social classes. There is evidence that in large families the height of children was less than that for the average, while families with three or more children were more to be inadequately nourished. In his 1979 work "Poverty in the UK", Townsend suggested that 15 million people lived in or on the margins of poverty, he argued that to get a proper measure of relative deprivation, there was a need to take into account other factors apart from income measures such as peoples’ environment and housing standards. According to one study, 365,000 families in Britain in 1966 were in poverty by an old assistance standard, 450,000 families by a new standard. In another study on poverty, Wilfred Beckerman estimated that 9.9% of the British population lived below a standardised poverty line in 1973, compared with 6.1% of the population of Belgium. Low pay was a major cause of poverty, with a report by the TUC in 1968 finding that about 5 million females and about 2.5 million males earned less than £15 a week.
According to one study, around 20% to 23% of employees in the late 1960s had low hourly wages. In 1974, a quarter of adult employees in Britain earned less than £27 a week or less before tax, only above the defined poverty line for an aver
The median is the value separating the higher half from the lower half of a data sample. For a data set, it may be thought of as the "middle" value. For example, in the data set, the median is 6, the fourth largest, the fifth smallest, number in the sample. For a continuous probability distribution, the median is the value such that a number is likely to fall above or below it; the median is a used measure of the properties of a data set in statistics and probability theory. The basic advantage of the median in describing data compared to the mean is that it is not skewed so much by large or small values, so it may give a better idea of a "typical" value. For example, in understanding statistics like household income or assets which vary a mean may be skewed by a small number of high or low values. Median income, for example, may be a better way to suggest; because of this, the median is of central importance in robust statistics, as it is the most resistant statistic, having a breakdown point of 50%: so long as no more than half the data are contaminated, the median will not give an arbitrarily large or small result.
The median of a finite list of numbers can be found by arranging all the numbers from smallest to greatest. If there is an odd number of numbers, the middle one is picked. For example, consider the list of numbers 1, 3, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9This list contains seven numbers; the median is the fourth of them, 6. If there is an number of observations there is no single middle value. For example, in the data set 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9the median is the mean of the middle two numbers: this is / 2, 4.5.. The formula used to find the index of the middle number of a data set of n numerically ordered numbers is / 2; this either gives the halfway point between the two middle values. For example, with 14 values, the formula will give an index of 7.5, the median will be taken by averaging the seventh and eighth values. So the median can be represented by the following formula: m e d i a n = a ⌈ # x ÷ 2 ⌉ + a ⌈ # x ÷ 2 + 1 ⌉ 2 One can find the median using the Stem-and-Leaf Plot. There is no accepted standard notation for the median, but some authors represent the median of a variable x either as x͂ or as μ1/2 sometimes M.
In any of these cases, the use of these or other symbols for the median needs to be explicitly defined when they are introduced. The median is used for skewed distributions, which it summarizes differently from the arithmetic mean. Consider the multiset; the median is 2 in this case, it might be seen as a better indication of central tendency than the arithmetic mean of 4. The median is a popular summary statistic used in descriptive statistics, since it is simple to understand and easy to calculate, while giving a measure, more robust in the presence of outlier values than is the mean; the cited empirical relationship between the relative locations of the mean and the median for skewed distributions is, not true. There are, various relationships for the absolute difference between them. With an number of observations no value need be at the value of the median. Nonetheless, the value of the median is uniquely determined with the usual definition. A related concept, in which the outcome is forced to correspond to a member of the sample, is the medoid.
In a population, at most half have values less than the median and at most half have values greater than it. If each group contains less than half the population some of the population is equal to the median. For example, if a < b < c the median of the list is b, and, if a < b < c < d the median of the list is the mean of b and c. Indeed, as it is based on the middle data in a group, it is not necessary to know the value of extreme results in order to calculate a median. For example, in a psychology test investigating the time needed to solve a problem, if a small number of people failed to solve the problem at all in the given time a median can still be calculated; the median can be used as a measure of location when a distribution is skewed, when end-values are not known, or when one requires reduced importance to be attached to outliers, e.g. because they may be measurement errors. A median is only defined on ordered one-dimensional data, is independent of any distance metric. A geometric median, on the other hand, is defined in any number of dimensions.
The median is one of a number of ways