Related Function:

The VAR.P function returns variance based on the entire population – ignores logical values and text in the population.

  • This function was introduced in Excel 2010 and so is not available in earlier versions.
  • The VAR.P function replaces the VARP function included in earlier versions of Excel.


=VAR.P(num_1,[num_2], … )


Argument Description
num_1 The first number, cell references or range argument corresponding to a population
[num_2], … Optional. Additional numbers, cell references or ranges for which you want the variance, up to a maximum of 255


  A B C D
1 Data      
2 1,471      
3 1,474      
4 1,491      
5 1,452      
6 1,436      
7 1,445      
8 1,442      
9 1,427      
10 1,432      
11 1,407      
13 Formula Result Notes
14 =VAR.P(A2:A11) 563.61 Variance of values provided, assuming that 10 is the entire population
15 =VAR.S(A2:A11) 626.23 Variance of values provided using the VAR.S function, which assumes that 10 is only a sample population. The result is different from VAR.P

Note: The VAR.P function is used when calculating the variance of an entire population. If your data is just a sample of the population, you need to use the VAR.S function.

Common Function Error(s)

Problem What went wrong
#VALUE! Occurs if any values that are supplied directly to the function are text values that cannot be interpreted as numeric values
#DIV/0! Occurs if none of the supplied values are numeric

Variance is a statistical measure commonly used across a set of values, to identify the amount that the values vary from the average. The equation for VAR.P is:    

    \[    \frac { \sum (x-\bar{x})^2 } n    \]

where x is the sample mean of the set of values and n is the sample size.

See Wikipedia for more information on variance.