VAR function

Estimates variance based on a sample.

Important   This function has been replaced with one or more new functions that may provide improved accuracy and whose names better reflect their usage. This function is still available for compatibility with earlier versions of Excel. However, if backward compatibility is not required, you should consider using the new functions from now on, because they more accurately describe their functionality.

For more information about the new function, see VAR.S function.

Syntax

VAR(number1,[number2],...])

The VAR function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Number1     Required. The first number argument corresponding to a sample of a population.

  • Number2, ...     Optional. Number arguments 2 to 255 corresponding to a sample of a population.

Remarks

  • VAR assumes that its arguments are a sample of the population. If your data represents the entire population, then compute the variance by using VARP.

  • Arguments can either be numbers or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers.

  • Logical values, and text representations of numbers that you type directly into the list of arguments are counted.

  • If an argument is an array or reference, only numbers in that array or reference are counted. Empty cells, logical values, text, or error values in the array or reference are ignored.

  • Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be translated into numbers cause errors.

  • If you want to include logical values and text representations of numbers in a reference as part of the calculation, use the VARA function.

  • VAR uses the following formula:

    Formula

    where x is the sample mean AVERAGE(number1,number2,…) and n is the sample size.

Example

Suppose 10 tools stamped from the same machine during a production run are collected as a random sample and measured for breaking strength.

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article.

    Important   Do not select the row or column headers.

    selecting an example from help

    Selecting an example from Help

  2. Press CTRL+C.

  3. In Excel, create a blank workbook or worksheet.

  4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

    Important   For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.

  5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

A

Strength

1345

1301

1368

1322

1310

1370

1318

1350

1303

1299

Formula

Description (Result)

=VAR(A2:A11)

Variance for the breaking strength of the tools (754.2667)

Applies To: Excel 2010, Excel Starter, Excel Online, SharePoint Online



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language