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How To Calculate Variance in Excel?

  • Last Updated : 09 May, 2021

In this article, we will learn about the calculation of the variance(var) in Excel.

First, let’s learn about Variance. In real-life scenarios, we have populations like marks of students in a particular subject, salaries of multiple employees in a company. Let us consider, in a company named ABC, we have 5 employees.

NameSalary(USD)
a10k
b50k
c30k
d40k
e20k

Now, it will tell us the expectation of standard deviation. In other words, the factor of difference in salaries.

The formula for std is –

\sigma^{2}  =   \sum_1^n (x_{i} -  \mu  )^{2}  / N

It will be shown as



Where x represents the value, and μ is the mean of the sample.

  • Mean = 30
  • N = 5
  • Var = 200

Now, Let’s learn how to use it in Excel –

In Excel we have formulas for everything and as you might have guessed for var also.

We can have this list of formulas using ‘=’ symbol shown below

Let’s talk about them briefly,

1. VAR.P – It calculates the var assuming that the entire population is its argument. It returns an approximate value and is used with a large population. Uses the same formula shown above.



2. VAR.S – It calculates the var assuming that the sample of the population is its argument. It returns an approximate value and is used with a large population. Uses the same formula shown below

\sigma^{2}  =   \sum_1^n (x_{i} -  \mu  )^{2}  / (N -1)

3. VARA – It includes text and logical symbols whereas the above 2 functions don’t include text and logical symbols. It is used for a sample of the population. Uses “n-1” formula.

4. VARPA – It includes text and logical symbols. It is used for the whole population. Uses “n” formula.

Let’s see the difference here,

Here, the discrepancy occurs because VARPA and VARA read TRUE as 1 and VAR.P and VAR.S ignore it.

The formula goes like this –

1. =STDEV.P(A38:A43)        [Formula used in A37 cell]
2. =STDEV.S(B38:B43)        [Formula used in B37 cell]
3. =STDEVPA(C38:B43)        [Formula used in C37 cell]
4. =STDEVA(D38:B43)         [Formula used in D37 cell]

Note – VAR and VARP are for Excel 2007 or earlier. DVAR and DVARP are used for fetching data from Database.

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