"Jacob do you remember a few months ago. Go on where i where i came over to your desk and i had that this pet peeve about statistics. Yes my issue is with this thing that people talk about the average american and like yeah. There's something sort of silly about the average american because it's like a melting pot who is average really but but my my quibble is more pedantic than that because i think people don't mean average american. I think what they actually mean is. Who is the person if i walk outside in to america. Who's the person i most likely to run into. Yes the person who there's more of that person than any other person. That ain't the average. It's not the not the median smart guy it is. The mode mode is the most underrated of what what are those things called like statis- mode median average statistics no. There's word for it to those things but i don't know what it is all right well. The mode is i think the most underrated are definitely mode. If you have forgotten your inter level stats class is the most common tom thing in a data set so if you have a bag of m. and m.'s whichever color there is the most stuff that's your modal eminem and when people talk about the average american what the actually mean is like modal american and i've never actually seen anybody run that statistic and just to be sure i called the u._s. Census bureau and they were low the lid off off of it yeah and they were like. I don't think anyone is doing that took. I looked all over the place and i could not find anyone who would truly run this statistic. Ah it boggles my mind that in this day and age there is any stat that isn't just like available at our fingertips so my next call was to ben in casselman love. You know bent gas. We worked together at the wall street. Journal longtime ago covers economics for the new york times. Now knows are like statistics programming language. He really gets it makes animated. Gifts of jobs numbers yeah so i called ben and ben was like i've actually thought about this. I told you bet <hes> <hes> which perhaps makes me a a non modal american. Perhaps ben said this came up just the other day for him. He said his tweet going around. It was like how the typical american like where their income comes from what they spend it on yeah but it was like they had sixty thousand dollars in labor income and ten thousand dollars and social security income okay now hold on a second and he's like no they don't. That's not a person here is no america well. There may be some american but that's like a weird freakish americans that is not typical. Yes you were probably working or you're collecting social security and almost certainly not both it's basically if you took all the americans and put them in a blender. That's what you would get but that's not any doesn't make any sense and so his point was like yes. No average is nonsense. You're going to end up with these nonsense. Blender people that you you may not even find in the real world. If you actually want to figure out what human beings exist outside your door you need to run the mode like there's some person where there are more people who look like that person than look like any other type of person that if if i went out and just knocked on doors eventually i would run into this very person who that person person and so. I was like then do you think do you think maybe you could help me find the modal american yeah. I think this could be really fun and it is actually something. I have thought about but have never had a reason to do. It had a reason to do it. That's right. Here's your invitation to the ball cinderella. Hello and welcome to planet money kenny malone and i'm jacob goldstein ben castleman and i set out to try and find the modal american and i am telling jake about up about it for the very first time today. He has no idea today. I am ready to be genuinely surprised. We have a cavalcade of guests out today. Jacob prepare yourself for a very nerdy show about trying to use a relatively simple statistic to answer a really complicated question great. There's been so much secrecy and"