PEARSON function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the PEARSON function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.


Returns the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, r, a dimensionless index that ranges from -1.0 to 1.0 inclusive and reflects the extent of a linear relationship between two data sets.


PEARSON(array1, array2)

The PEARSON function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • Array1    Required. A set of independent values.
  • Array2    Required. A set of dependent values.


  • The arguments must be either numbers or names, array constants, or references that contain numbers.
  • 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.
  • If array1 and array2 are empty or have a different number of data points, PEARSON returns the #N/A error value.
  • The formula for the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, r, is:


where x and y are the sample means AVERAGE(array1) and AVERAGE(array2).


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

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. 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.


Independent values Dependent values
9 10
7 6
5 1
3 5
1 3
Formula Description (Result)
=PEARSON(A2:A6,B2:B6) Pearson product moment correlation coefficient for the data sets above (0.699379)
Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses