Home > Formulas > Statistical > Average

# Excel Average Functions

Examples show how to average Excel cells with numbers, text, blanks, or cells based on specific criteria. Use the AVERAGE, AVERAGEA, AVERAGEIF or AVERAGEIFS functions, or TRIMMEAN, for an average that excludes outliers.

## Average Cells with Numbers -- AVERAGE

The Microsoft Excel AVERAGE function will calculate the average (arithmetic mean) for a specified set of numbers in an Excel spreadsheet.

To calculate the average, Excel divides the sum of all numbers by the count of all numbers.

AVERAGE is one of the central tendency functions, like MEDIAN and MODE.

### AVERAGE Syntax

The AVERAGE function syntax has the following arguments:

• =AVERAGE(number1, [number2], ...)

The arguments (e.g. number1) can be cell references, or cell ranges, or numbers typed into the AVERAGE formula.

In the list of arguments, you can include up to 255 arguments, with numbers to include in the average

### AVERAGE Function Notes

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using the AVERAGE function:

• Text values, logical values, and empty cells are ignored
• Cells with zero values are included
• Dates are stored as numbers, so they are included
• Error values in the referenced range will cause an error in the formula result

### AVERAGE Function Example

The following AVERAGE function example uses one argument -- a reference to cells A1:A5.

• Enter the following sample data on your worksheet:
• A1: Qty
• A2: 50
• A3: (leave cell empty)
• A4: 5.5
• A5: 10
• In cell A7, enter the following formula:
• =AVERAGE(A1:A5)
• Press Enter, to complete the formula.

#### How the Formula Works

In cell A7, the formula result is 21.8333333, which is the average of the cells that contain numbers, in the reference range -- A1 to A3.

• Cell A1 isn't included in the average, because it contains text
• Cell A3 is not summed or counted, because blank cells are ignored

In column C, there are 3 formulas, to verify the result of the AVERAGE formula.

• Cell C3 sums all the numbers in range A1:A5: =SUM(A1:A5)
• Cell C5 counts all the numbers in range A1:A5: =COUNT(A1:A5)
• Cell C7 divides the sum by the count: =C3/C5

The result in cell C7 matches the result of the AVERAGE formula in cell A7

### Format AVERAGE Formula

Frequently, the result of an AVERAGE formula is a number with many decimal places.

To hide some of those decimals, you can format the cell with Number Format.

• Select the cell that you want to format
• On your keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+1

The Number format is applied, with its default setting of 2 decimal places.

The value in cell A7 does not change -- only its formatting is affected.

## Average Cells with Data -- AVERAGEA

The AVERAGEA function will average cells that are not empty. Its syntax is:
=AVERAGEA(value1, value2,...value30).
The arguments (e.g. value1) can be cell references, or values typed into the formula. The following example uses one argument -- a reference to cells A1:A5.

1. Enter the sample data on your worksheet
2. In cell A7, enter a AVERAGEA formula, to average the numbers in column A:   =AVERAGEA(A1:A5)

3. Press the Enter key, to complete the formula.
4. The result will be 16.38, the average of the cells that contain data. Cell A1 contains text, which is treated as a zero, and cell A3 is not included in the average, because it is blank.

Note: AVERAGEA will include cells with formulas — including those that look empty, because they evaluate to "", e.g. =IF(B2="","",B2).

## Average cells that match criteria -- AVERAGEIF

This short video show how to create a flexible AVERAGEIF formula, to calculate the average quantity sold, for the selected product name. There are written steps below the video, and the sample file is in the Download section

### Match criterion exactly

In Excel, calculate average of the numbers for cells that meet a specific criterion. In this example only the quantities for the Pen orders will be averaged.

1. Select the cell in which you want to see the average (cell A12 in this example)
2. Type an equal sign (=) to start the formula
3. Type:   AVERAGEIF(
4. Select the cells that contain the values to check for the criterion. In this example, cells A1:A10 will be checked
5. Type a comma, to separate the arguments
6. Type the criterion. In this example, you're checking for text, so type the word in double quotes:   "Pen"
Note: upper and lower case are treated equally
7. Type a comma, to separate the arguments
8. Select the cells that contain the values to average. In this example, cells B1:B10 contain the values
9. Type a closing bracket
The completed formula is: =AVERAGEIF(A1:A10,"Pen",B1:B10)
10. Press the Enter key to complete the entry
11. The result will be 9.25, the average of the values for rows that contain "Pen"

### Match criterion in a string

In Excel, average cells in rows that contain a criterion as part of the cell's contents. In this example all Pen, Gel Pen, and Pencil orders will be averaged, because they contain the string "pen".

1. Select the cell in which you want to see the calculated average (cell A12 in this example)
2. Type an equal sign (=) to start the formula
3. Type:   AVERAGEIF(
4. Select the cells that contain the values to check for the criterion. In this example, cells A1:A10 will be checked
5. Type a comma, to separate the arguments
6. Type the criterion. In this example, you're checking for text, so type the word in double quotes, with one or more asterisk (*) wildcard characters:   "*Pen*"
Note: upper and lower case are treated equally
7. Type a comma, to separate the arguments
8. Select the cells that contain the values to average. In this example, cells B1:B10 contain the values
9. Type a closing bracket
The completed formula is: =AVERAGEIF(A1:A10,"*Pen*",B1:B10)
10. Press the Enter key to complete the entry
11. The result will be 8.83, the average of a range of rows that contain the string, "Pen", in column A

Note: Instead of typing the criterion in a formula, you can refer to a cell. For example, the formula in step 7 above could be changed to:
=AVERAGEIF(A1:A10,"*" & B12 & "*",B1:B10)
if cell B12 contained the text — pen.

### Criterion and operator

You can use an operator with a criterion. In this example only the rows where the quantity is greater than or equal to ten will be averaged.

1. Select the cell in which you want to see the average (cell A12 in this example)
2. Type an equal sign (=) to start the formula
3. Type:   AVERAGEIF(
4. Select the cells that contain the values to check for the criterion. In this example, cells B1:B10 will be checked
5. Type a comma, to separate the arguments
6. Type the criterion. In this example, you're checking for rows where the quantity is greater than or equal to 10. The >= operator is used before the number, and the entire criterion is enclosed in double quotes: ">=10"
Note: Even though this is a numerical criterion, it must enclosed in double quote marks.
7. Type a closing bracket
8. The completed formula is:
=AVERAGEIF(B1:B10,">=10")

9. Press the Enter key to complete the entry

Note: Instead of typing the criterion in a formula, you can refer to a cell. For example, the formula in step 8 above could be changed to:
=AVERAGEIF(B1:B10,">=" & B12)
if cell B12 contained the number — 10

## Average cells for multiple criteria -- AVERAGEIFS

### Match multiple criteria

In Excel 2007 and later versions, you can use the AVERAGEIFS function to average rows that meet two or more criteria. In this example only the rows where the item is "Pen" and the quantity is greater than or equal to ten will be averaged.

The criteria have been entered in cell D3 and E3. We'll refer to those cells in the formula, instead of typing the values in the formula.

1. Select the cell in which you want to see the total
2. Type an equal sign (=) to start the formula
3. Type:   AVERAGEIFS(
4. Select the cells that contain the values to average. In this example, cells B2:B10 will be averaged
5. To start the next argument, type a comma
6. Select the cells that contain the values to check for the first criterion. In this example, cells A2:A10 will be checked
7. Type a comma, and click on cell D3, which contains the first criterion, "Pen"
8. To start the next set of criteria, type a comma
9. Select the cells that contain the values to check for the second criterion. In this example, cells B2:B10 will be checked
10. Type a comma, and the operator for the second criterion:  ">="
Note: The operator is enclosed in double quote marks.
11. Type an ampersand (&), and click on cell E3, which contains the minimum number for the averaged cells -- 10.
12. To start the next argument, type a comma
13. Select the cells that contain the values to check for the second criterion. In this example, cells B2:B10 will be checked
14. Finish with a closing bracket: )
15. The completed formula is shown below.
16. Press the Enter key to complete the entry

The completed formula is:

=AVERAGEIFS(B2:B10,A2:A10,D3,B2:B10,">=" & E3)

Note: Instead of refering to cells for the criteria, you can type them into the formula. Here is the same formula, with typed criteria:

=AVERAGEIFS(B2:B10,A2:A10,"Pen",B2:B10,">=10")

## Average Rows in a Filtered List -- SUBTOTAL

After you filter the rows in a list, you can use the SUBTOTAL function to average the visible rows.

1. Apply an AutoFilter to the table. There are instructions here -- AutoFilter Basics
2. Filter at least one of the columns in the table. In this example, the first column has been filtered for Binders.
3. Select the cell immediately below the column you want to sum.
4. Click the AutoSum button on the Ribbon's Home tab or Formulas tab.
• If you want the SUBTOTAL function in a cell other than the one directly below the filtered list, you can type the formula, instead of using the AutoSum button.
5. A SUBTOTAL formula will be automatically inserted, totalling the visible cells in the column
• The first argument in the SUBTOTAL function is a function number, that specifies how the numbers should be calculated. The default is 9, which tells Excel to SUM the numbers.
• Other function numbers can be used, such as 1 for AVERAGE, or 2 for COUNT.
6. To Average all the non-empty cells in column D, select 1 - AVERAGE from the drop down list of functions, as the first argument:
=SUBTOTAL(1,D2:D10)
7. Check the range of cells to be averaged, and correct the range address, if necessary.
8. Press the Enter key to complete the formula entry.
9. Note: In the Subtotal function, you can use 101, instead of 1:
=SUBTOTAL(101,D2:D10)
to subtotal rows which have been manually hidden, as well as filtered rows.

## Video: Trimmed Mean With TRIMMEAN Function

To exclude a specific percentage of outlying data from an average, you can use Excel's TRIMMEAN function. Watch this video to see how to set up the formula, and the written instructions are below the video.

## Trimmed Mean With TRIMMEAN Function

To exclude outlying data from an average, you can use the TRIMMEAN function. This function excludes a specific percentage of data points from the top and bottom of the data set, then returns the average (mean) of the remaining data points.

NOTE: In this example, the quantities are sorted in ascending order, so it is easier to see the top and bottom numbers. Numbers do NOT need to be sorted, for the TRIMMEAN function to calculate correctly.

### TRIMMEAN Function

The TRIMMEAN function requires 2 arguments: TRIMMEAN(array, percent)

In this example,

• the values for the array are in cells B2:B21
• the trim percent is entered in cell E3, as 25% (or 0.25)

To calculate the trimmed mean, enter this formula in cell E4::

=TRIMMEAN(B2:B21, E3)

The TRIMMEAN result (53.06) is different from the AVERAGE (51.95), which is shown in cell E5.

### How TRIMMEAN Works

In this example, there are 20 values, and the trim percent is 25%.

To calculate how many number to trim,

• the values are counted, then multiplied by the trim percentage (e.g. 20 * .25 = 5
• That number is divided by 2, to get the number to trim at each end ( e.g. 5 / 2 = 2.5)
• To remove an equal number of data points at each end, the number is rounded down to the nearest integer ( e.g. INT( 2.5) = 2)

So, in this excample, the top 2 (86,97) and bottom 2 (3,4) data points will not be included in the average that TRIMMEAN calculates.

The AVERAGE function, used on cells B4:B19 in this example, returns the same result as the TRIMMEAN function, with a trim percentage of 25%.

## Get the Workbook

To see the formulas and test data used in this example, you can download the Average functions sample file. The file is in xlsx format and does not contain any macros

## Excel Function Tutorials

Sum Functions

MEDIAN Function

VLOOKUP Function

Count Functions

INDIRECT Function

Last updated: June 20, 2023 4:20 PM