I was recently looking at the National Survey of Family Growth (US Census Bureau) and noticed that the numbers on the median column were not whole numbers, but rather numbers like 5.1 and 4.6. (Not 5.1 thousand or 5.1 million, just 5.1.)
This seemed unusual to me, so I looked to see if there was a note. There was:
For definition of median, see Guide to Tabular Presentation.
Eventually I found the Guide to Tabular Presentation, which says
The median of a group of numbers is the middle number or value when each item in the group is arranged according to size (lowest to highest or visa versa); it generally has the same number of items above it as well as below it. If there is an even number of items in the group, the median is taken to be the average of the two middle numbers.
This does not seem to allow results other than whole numbers, unless (very unlikely in the case of large data sets) the middle numbers differ, in which case the result is half of a whole number. So what's going on?