Relative Locations of Mean, Median and Mode

The skewness of a distribution can have an impact on the location of mean, median and mode.

The relative locations of these measures on symmetric, negatively skewed, and positively skewed distributions are shown below. We have assumed a unimodal distribution, i.e., it has only one mode.

Symmetric Distribution

Mode = Median = Mean

Negatively Skewed Distribution

Mode > Median > Mean

Positively Skewed Distribution

Mode < Median < Mean

Remember that skewness pulls the mean in the direction of the skew. Median is always between mean and mode.


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