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Oracle® Database SQL Reference
10g Release 1 (10.1)

Part Number B10759-01
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Description of median.gif follows
Description of the illustration median.gif

See Also:

"Analytic Functions " for information on syntax, semantics, and restrictions


MEDIAN is an inverse distribution function that assumes a continuous distribution model. It takes a numeric or datetime value and returns the middle value or an interpolated value that would be the middle value once the values are sorted. Nulls are ignored in the calculation.

This function takes as arguments any numeric datatype or any nonnumeric datatype that can be implicitly converted to a numeric datatype. If you specify only expr, then the function returns the same datatype as the numeric datatype of the argument. if you specify the OVER clause, then Oracle Database determines the argument with the highest numeric precedence, implicitly converts the remaining arguments to that datatype, and returns that datatype.

See Also:

Table 2-11, "Implicit Type Conversion Matrix" for more information on implicit conversion and "Numeric Precedence " for information on numeric precedence

The result of MEDIAN is computed by first ordering the rows. Using N as the number of rows in the group, Oracle calculates the row number (RN) of interest with the formula RN = (1 + (0.5*(N-1)). The final result of the aggregate function is computed by linear interpolation between the values from rows at row numbers CRN = CEILING(RN) and FRN = FLOOR(RN).

The final result will be:

if (CRN = FRN = RN) then
      (value of expression from row at RN)
      (CRN - RN) * (value of expression for row at FRN) +
      (RN - FRN) * (value of expression for row at CRN)

You can use MEDIAN as an analytic function. You can specify only the query_partition_clause in its OVER clause. It returns, for each row, the value that would fall in the middle among a set of values within each partition.

Compare this function with these functions:


The following query returns the median salary for each department in the hr.employees table:

SELECT department_id, MEDIAN(salary)
   FROM employees
   GROUP BY department_id;

------------- --------------
           10           4400
           20           9500
           30           2850
           40           6500
           50           3100
           60           4800
           70          10000
           80           8900
           90          17000
          100           8000
          110          10150