How to use VAR.P Function in Excel

The Excel VAR.P function returns the variance in an entire population.  If data represents a sample of the population, use the VAR.S function.

Syntax:= VAR.P (number1, [number2], …)

The VAR.P function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Number1     Required. The first number argument corresponding to a population.
  • Number2, …     Optional. Number arguments 2 to 254 corresponding to a population.

Example: Let’s look at some Excel VAR.P function examples and explore how to use the VAR.P function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

A company has kept a record of its monthly sales figures, over three years. These are stored in cells B3-B14, D3-D14 and F3-F14 of the example spreadsheet on the right.

The variance of the three years’ sales figures is calculated in cell B16 of the spreadsheet. The formula for this, (shown in the formula bar), is:

Syntax:  =VARP(B3:B14,D3:D14,F3:F14)

Result: 6381751543209.88

The example above shows the arguments to the Varp function being input in the form of 3 cell ranges. However, you can also input figures directly, as individual numbers or number arrays.

For example, if, during January and February 2020 the sales figures are 14,000,000 and 15,500,000, you can add these directly into the above function as follows:

Either as individual numbers:

Syntax: =VARP(B4:B14,D4:D14,F4:F14,14000000,15500000)

Result: 6342040816326.53

or, as an array of numbers:

Syntax: =VARP(B4:B14,D4:D14,F4:F14,{14000000,15500000})

Result: 6342040816326.53


  • VAR.P assumes that its arguments are the entire population. If your data represents a sample of the population, then compute the variance by using VAR.S.
  • 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 VARPA function.
  • The equation for VAR.P is:

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











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