FREQUENCY function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the FREQUENCY function in Microsoft Excel.


Calculates how often values occur within a range of values, and then returns a vertical array of numbers. For example, use FREQUENCY to count the number of test scores that fall within ranges of scores. Because FREQUENCY returns an array, it must be entered as an array formula.

FREQUENCY(data_array, bins_array)

The FREQUENCY function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Data_array    Required. An array of or reference to a set of values for which you want to count frequencies. If data_array contains no values, FREQUENCY returns an array of zeros.

  • Bins_array    Required. An array of or reference to intervals into which you want to group the values in data_array. If bins_array contains no values, FREQUENCY returns the number of elements in data_array.

  • FREQUENCY is entered as an array formula after you select a range of adjacent cells into which you want the returned distribution to appear.

  • The number of elements in the returned array is one more than the number of elements in bins_array. The extra element in the returned array returns the count of any values above the highest interval. For example, when counting three ranges of values (intervals) that are entered into three cells, be sure to enter FREQUENCY into four cells for the results. The extra cell returns the number of values in data_array that are greater than the third interval value.

  • FREQUENCY ignores blank cells and text.

  • Formulas that return arrays must be entered as array formulas.

Copy the example data in the following table, and paste it in cell A1 of a new Excel worksheet. For formulas to show results, select them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you need to, you can adjust the column widths to see all the data.



















Number of scores less than or equal to 70


Number of scores in the bin 71-79


Number of scores in the bin 80-89


Number of scores greater than or equal to 90


The formula in cell C12 is an array formula. For this formula to return values in cells C12,C13,C14 and C15, you must open this workbook in the Excel desktop program (not the web browser). In Excel, select C12,C13,C14 and C15, press F2, and then press CTRL+Shift+Enter. Otherwise, only a value in cell C12 will be returned.

Note: If you have a current version of Office 365, then you can simply enter the formula in the top-left-cell of the output range, then press ENTER to confirm the formula as a dynamic array formula. Otherwise, the formula must be entered as a legacy array formula by first selecting the output range, entering the formula in the top-left-cell of the output range, and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to confirm it. Excel inserts curly brackets at the beginning and end of the formula for you. For more information on array formulas, see Guidelines and examples of array formulas.

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