Related Function:

The VARA function returns the variance of a supplied set of values which represent a sample of a population.


=VARA(num_1,[num_2], … )

Note: Beginning with Excel 2007, you can enter up to 255 number arguments to the function. Excel 2003 would only accept up to 30 number arguments.


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

Note: The number arguments must provide a minimum of 2 numeric values to the function.


  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 =VARA(A2:A11) 626.23 Variance of values provided using the VARA function, which assumes that 10 is only a sample population

Note: The VARA function is used when calculating the variance for a sample of a population. If you are calculating the variance for an entire population, you need to use the VARPA 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 fewer than 2 numeric values have been supplied to the function

Variance is a statistical measure commonly used across a set of values, to identify the amount that the values vary from the average.

When your data set is a sample of a population, rather than an entire population, you should use a slightly modified form of variance, known as the Sample Variance.

The equation for VARA is:    

    \[    \frac { \sum (x-\bar{x})^2 }{ n-1 }    \]

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

See Wikipedia for more information on variance.