AVERAGE

Returns the average (arithmetic mean) of the arguments.

Syntax

AVERAGE(number1,number2,...)

Number1, number2, ...     are 1 to 30 numeric arguments for which you want the average.

Remarks

  • 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 array or reference argument contains text, logical values, or empty cells, those values are ignored; however, cells with the value zero are included.
  • 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 AVERAGEA function.

 Note   The AVERAGE function measures central tendency, which is the location of the center of a group of numbers in a statistical distribution. The three most common measures of central tendency are:

  • Average     which is the arithmetic mean, and is calculated by adding a group of numbers and then dividing by the count of those numbers. For example, the average of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 30 divided by 6, which is 5.
  • Median     which is the middle number of a group of numbers; that is, half the numbers have values that are greater than the median, and half the numbers have values that are less than the median. For example, the median of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 4.
  • Mode     which is the most frequently occurring number in a group of numbers. For example, the mode of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 3.

For a symmetrical distribution of a group of numbers, these three measures of central tendency are all the same. For a skewed distribution of a group of numbers, they can be different.

Tip    When averaging cells, keep in mind the difference between empty cells and those containing the value zero, especially if you have cleared the Zero values check box on the View tab (Options command, Tools menu). Empty cells are not counted, but zero values are.

Example

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

ShowHow to copy an example

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
  3. 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.
 
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Data
10
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27
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Formula Description (Result)
=AVERAGE(A2:A6) Average of the numbers above (11)
=AVERAGE(A2:A6, 5) Average of the numbers above and 5 (10)
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003