# Aggregate vs. Average: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 9, 2023
Aggregate refers to the total or sum of elements, while average is the value obtained by dividing the sum of a set of elements by the number of elements.

## Key Differences

Aggregate emphasizes the total sum of elements in a set. Average, on the other hand, represents a typical value in a set, calculated by dividing the aggregate by the number of elements.
Aggregate shows the collective amount, useful in understanding the total volume or extent. While, average provides an insight into the central tendency or typical value of a data set.
Aggregate is often used to assess total capacity, resources, or value. Whereas, average is employed to understand typical cases or to find a central value for comparative purposes.
Calculating aggregate involves summing all values in a set. Calculating average involves summing values and then dividing by the quantity of elements.
Aggregate reflects the entirety of a set, giving a sense of scale. Average, by abstracting details, provides a simplified, more general understanding of the data.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Total sum of elements in a set.
Mean value of elements in a set.

### Calculation

Summing all values.
Summing values and dividing by their number.

### Purpose

To find the total amount.
To find a representative value.

### Reflection of Data

Shows collective volume or extent.
Indicates typical or central tendency.

### Usage in Analysis

Assessing total capacity or value.
Understanding common or average scenarios.

## Aggregate and Average Definitions

#### Aggregate

A whole formed by combining several elements.
The concrete mix uses different types of aggregate.

#### Average

The numerical value obtained by dividing the sum of values by their number.
The average score of the class improved this semester.

#### Aggregate

The sum total of a collection of items.
The aggregate of votes was higher than expected.

#### Average

Being typical of a certain group.
His performance was average compared to his peers.

#### Aggregate

Formed by the conjunction of several elements.
The aggregate strength of the team led to their victory.

#### Average

Representing the typical or usual value.
The average temperature in July is usually around 85°F.

#### Aggregate

Pertaining to the total or entire sum.
The aggregate effect of the policy was beneficial.

#### Average

A term used in mathematics to denote a central or typical value in a set of data.
The average of these numbers is surprisingly low.

#### Aggregate

The process of combining various elements into a whole.
The aggregate income of the group was surprisingly high.

#### Average

Of moderate or middle quality.
The movie was average, neither great nor terrible.

#### Aggregate

Constituting or amounting to a whole; total
Aggregate sales in that market.

#### Average

A number that typifies a set of numbers of which it is a function.

#### Aggregate

(Botany) Crowded or massed into a dense cluster.

#### Average

See arithmetic mean.

## FAQs

#### Is aggregate always a large number?

Not necessarily; it depends on the values being summed.

#### How is average calculated?

By dividing the sum of values by the number of values.

#### Can aggregate be a material?

Yes, in construction, aggregate refers to a mix of gravel and sand.

#### What does aggregate mean?

The total sum of individual elements or items.

#### What does an average tell us?

It indicates a typical or central value in a data set.

Yes, if a data set has extreme values, the average might not be representative.

#### Does aggregate have a mathematical meaning?

Yes, it refers to the total sum in a mathematical context.

#### What is a good example of average use?

Calculating the average income of a population.

#### Is average a specific number?

Yes, it's a specific value calculated from a data set.

#### Is the median the same as the average?

No, the median is the middle value in a sorted data set.

#### What's the importance of aggregate in economics?

It helps in understanding the total economic indicators.

#### Are aggregates used in statistics?

Yes, especially in economic and demographic data.

#### Can average be used in everyday life?

Yes, like calculating the average expenses per month.

#### What does a high average indicate?

It suggests that the typical value in the set is high.

#### Can average be zero?

Yes, if the sum of values is zero.

#### Is aggregate used in data analysis?

Extensively, especially in large data sets.

#### Does average apply to non-numeric data?

Typically no, average is used for numeric data.

#### What's an example of aggregate in sports?

Total points scored in a season by a team.

#### How do businesses use aggregate data?

To understand total sales, expenses, or customer numbers.

#### How do you find aggregate in data?

By summing all the individual values in the data set.