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How to calculate the correlation coefficient between two variables in Excel?

We usually use correlation coefficient (a value between -1 and 1) to display how strongly two variables are related to each other. In Excel, we also can use the CORREL function to find the correlation coefficient between two variables.

Note: A correlation coefficient of +1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, which means that as variable X increases, variable Y increases and while variable X decreases, variable Y decreases.
On the other hand, a correlation coefficient of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation. As variable X increases, variable Z decreases and as variable X decreases, variable Z increases.

Method A Directly use CORREL function

Method B Apply Data Analysis and output the analysis

More tutorials about calculations in Excel


arrow blue right bubble Method A Directly use CORREL function

For example, there are two lists of data, and now I will calculate the correlation coefficient between these two variables.
doc correlation coefficient 1

Select a blank cell that you will put the calculation result, enter this formula =CORREL(A2:A7,B2:B7), and press Enter key to get the correlation coefficient. See screenshot:
doc correlation coefficient 2

In the formula, A2:A7 and B2:B7 are the two variable lists you want to compare.

you can insert a line chart to view the correlation coefficient visually. See screenshot:
doc correlation coefficient 3


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arrow blue right bubble Method B Apply Data Analysis and output the analysis

With the Analysis Toolpak add-in in Excel, you can quickly generate correlation coefficients between two variables, please do as below:

1. If you have add the Data Analysis add-in to the Data group, please jump to step 3. Click File > Options, then in the Excel Options window, click Add-Ins from the left pane, and go to click Go button next to Excel Add-ins drop-down list.
doc correlation coefficient 3

2. In the Add-Ins dialog, check Analysis ToolPak, click OK to add this add-in to Data tab group.
doc correlation coefficient 5

3. Then click Data > Data Analysis, and in the Data Analysis dialog, select Correlation, then click OK.
doc correlation coefficient 6 doc correlation coefficient 7

4. Then the Correlation dialog, do as below operation:

1) Select the data range;

2) Check Columns or Rows option based on your data;

3) Check Labels in first row if you have labels in the data;

4) Check one option as you need in Output options secton.
doc correlation coefficient 8

5. Click OK. And the analysis result has been displayed in the range you specified.
doc correlation coefficient 9


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