AVERAGEA function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the AVERAGEA 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.

Description

Calculates the average (arithmetic mean) of the values in the list of arguments.

Syntax

AVERAGEA(value1, [value2], ...)

The AVERAGEA 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.):

  • Value1, value2, ...    Value1 is required, subsequent values are optional. 1 to 255 cells, ranges of cells, or values for which you want the average.

Remarks

  • Arguments can be the following: numbers; names, arrays, or references that contain numbers; text representations of numbers; or logical values, such as TRUE and FALSE, in a reference.
  • Logical values and text representations of numbers that you type directly into the list of arguments are counted.
  • Arguments that contain TRUE evaluate as 1; arguments that contain FALSE evaluate as 0 (zero).
  • Array or reference arguments that contain text evaluate as 0 (zero). Empty text ("") evaluates as 0 (zero).
  • If an argument is an array or reference, only values in that array or reference are used. Empty cells and text 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 do not want to include logical values and text representations of numbers in a reference as part of the calculation, use the AVERAGE function.

 Note   The AVERAGEA 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 you average cells, keep in mind the difference between empty cells and those containing the value zero, especially if you have cleared the Show a zero in cells that have a zero value check box in the Excel Options dialog box in the Excel desktop application. When this option is selected, empty cells are not counted, but zero values are.

To locate the Show a zero in cells that have a zero value check box:

  • On the File tab, click Options, and then, in the Advanced category, look under Display options for this worksheet.

Example

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.

 
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Formula Description (Result)
=AVERAGEA(A2:A6) Average of the numbers above, and the text "Not Available". The cell with the text "Not available" is used in the calculation. (5.6)
=AVERAGEA(A2:A5,A7) Average of the numbers above, and the empty cell. (7)
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses