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How to find the second most common/frequent number or text in Excel?

We can apply the MODE function to find out the most frequent number from a range at ease in Excel. However, how about finding out the second most frequent number from a column? And what if finding out the second most common text value from a column? Here we get some workarounds for you:

Find the second most common/frequent number with an array formula

Find the second most common/frequent number or text with a helper column

Find the second most common/frequent number or text with sorting by frequency

Easily sort by frequency of occurrences in Excel

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This method will introduce an array formula to find out the second most common or frequent number in Excel. Please do as follows:

Select a blank cell where you will place the searching result, type the formula =MODE(IF(A2:A31<>MODE(A2:A31),A2:A31,"")) into it, and then press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously. See screenshot:

And then the second most common/frequent number has been found out and returned into the selected cell. See screenshot:


This method will guide you to batch count the occurrences of each item which you will find out the second common or frequent items from by the Advanced Combine Rows utility of Kutools for Excel, and then sort the occurrences to find out the second most common/frequent text value.

1. Select the text/number column where you will find out the second frequent value plus a blank column besides this text column, and click Kutools > Content > Advanced Combine Rows. See screenshot:

Note: For easy understanding, you can give this blank column a header, such as Occurrence or others as you need.

2. In the opening Advanced Combine Rows dialog box, please do as follows:

(1) In the Column section, select the text/number column, and then click the Primary Key.

(2) In the Column section, select the helper column, and then click the Calculate > Count. See above screenshot.

(3) Click the Ok button.

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3. Select the helper column with occurrence numbers, and click Data > Sort Largest to Smallest button. See screenshot:

4. In the popping up Sort Warning dialog box, please check the Expand the selection option, and click the Sort button.

And then the second frequent/common text is sorted in the third row. See screenshot:

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Actually, Kutools for Excel provides an Advanced Sort utility which can sort all numbers or text values in a column by frequency easily.

1. Select the text column or number column where you will find the second most frequent or common text/number, and click Enterprise > Advanced Sort. See screenshot:

2. In the opening Advanced Sort dialog box, please do as follows:

(1) Select the number column or text column where you will look for the second most common/frequent value from the Column drop down list;

(2) Select the Frequency from the Sort On drop down list;

(3)Select the Z to A from the Order drop down list;

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3. Click the OK button. And then you will see the numbers/text values are sorted by frequency in the descending order. You can easily find out the second most common/frequent value from the new sorted list. See above screenshot.


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