November 6, 2023
Array prototype doesn’t include an
To calculate the average of an array in JS, you typically have to manually iterate over the array to sum its elements and then divide the sum by the length of the array. This functionality is often implemented in a custom utility function. Keep reading to learn how to do this.
Understanding the average
The average, or mean, of an array is a basic statistical measure that represents the central tendency of a set of numbers. It's calculated by summing up all the numbers and then dividing this sum by the total count of numbers.
Prepare the array
Before you compute the average, ensure that the array contains only numeric values. Non-numeric values can cause errors or incorrect calculations when summing up the elements.
Filter non-numeric values
If there's a possibility of non-numeric values in the array, you should filter them out or convert them to a proper numeric form.
Use a for loop
The most straightforward method to find the average is by using a
for loop to iterate over the array and sum the elements.
reduce method which is perfect for accumulating values. This method can simplify the process of summing the array.
How to handle empty arrays
When working with arrays, always consider the edge case of an empty array. Attempting to calculate an average from an empty array should be handled gracefully to avoid division by zero.
Create a reusable function
For better code reuse and readability, encapsulate the averaging logic within a function.
How to deal with arrays of objects
Sometimes the array might consist of objects, and you need to average a specific property.
Ensure numerical precision
A more precise method of rounding is to define a function for it, to handle significant digits correctly.
For very large arrays, consider performance impacts. Reducing the number of operations, handling computations in chunks, or even utilizing web workers might be necessary.
How to process large arrays
For arrays with a very large number of elements, use traditional loops instead of methods like
For non-blocking asynchronous averaging, you can chunk the processing or use Web Workers.
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