# Difference Between Aggregate & Average

Aggregate and average are two terms that are often used in calculations. However, these two terms mean two different things. Aggregate refers to the total sum of elements in a data set whereas average refers to the central value in a dataset. This is the key difference between aggregate and average.

## Understanding Aggregate

Aggregate is an adjective and a noun which refers to something formed or calculated by the combination of several separate elements. In simple terms, it is similar to a total sum. For example, if there are five students in a class with marks 88, 56, 73, 64, and 69 out of 100, the aggregate would be calculated by adding these marks together and obtaining the total marks (350 in this case). Aggregate data is information that is gathered from different sources, on multiple measures or variables, and is compiled into summary reports, typically for the purposes of statistical analysis. In sociology, aggregate or social aggregate refers to a collection of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time; the compiled information obtained from them refers to aggregate data.

## Understanding Average

Average basically refers to the mean value in a data set. This is calculated by adding all the values of the data set and dividing by the number of data sets. Using the same example as before, the average marks of the class would be calculated by adding all the marks together and dividing by the number of students (350/5 = 70 in this case). The average marks of the class are also termed as class average, which is the mean value of marks obtained by the students in a class. To calculate your individual average, add all the marks you have gotten for the exam, and divide it by the number of subjects.

## Key Takeaways

• Aggregate refers to the total sum of elements in a data set.
• Average refers to the mean value in a data set.
• Aggregate value is calculated by adding all values together, while average value is calculated by adding all the values together and dividing by the number of elements.
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