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Excel STDEV Function

doc stdev function 1

If you want to follow along with this tutorial, please download the example spreadsheet.

doc stdev function 1


The Excel STDEV function returns standard deviation based on a given sample of data. It can be used to measure how widely values are dispersed from the mean value.

Syntax and arguments

Formula syntax

STDEV(number1, [number2], ...)


  • Number1: Required, a number, a reference to a sample of a population.
  • Number2, ...: Optional, the second number or reference that is up to 255 corresponding to a sample of a population.

Return Value

The STDEV function returns a numeric value.


1. STDEV function has been replaced with one or more new functions that may provide improved accuracy. Although STDEV function is still available, you should better use the new function from now on, since STDEV may not be available in future versions of Excel.

2. STDEV function’s arguments are a sample of the population, if the data represents the entire population, STDEV.P function may be rather appropriate.

3. STDEV function using “n – 1” method to calculate.

4. Arguments can either be numbers or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers.

5. Logical values and text representations of numbers that are directly typed into the list of arguments are counted.

6. If arguments are arrays or references, only numeric values are counted in the function, while empty cells and texts of error values are ignored.

7. STDEV function uses the equation as below:

doc stdev function 1


X is the sample mean, n is the sample size.


Excel 2003 and later

Usage and Examples

Example: Basic Usage

There is a table contains a sample data list in two columns B4:C8. To get the standard deviation of the sample, please use formula as below:


Or you can directly type the data as an array in the formula


Press Enter key to get the standard deviation.

doc stdev function 1

Standard Deviation Functions in Excel

Function Data Set Text annd Logicals
STDEV Sample Ignored
STDEV.S Sample Ignored
STDEVP Population Ignored
STDEV.P Population Ignored
STDEVA Sample Evaluated
STDEVPA Population Evaluated

Relative Functions:

  • Excel PERCENTRANK Function
    The Excel PERCENTRANK function returns the rank of a value in a data set as a percentage of the data set.

  • Excel PERCENTRANK.EXC Function
    The Excel PERCENTRANK.EXC returns the rank of a value in a data set as a percentage (excludes 0 and 1) of the data set.

  • Excel PERCENTRANK.INC Function
    The Excel PERCENTRANK.INC function returns the rank of a value in a data set as a percentage (includes 0 and 1) of the data set.

  • Excel PERMUT Function
    The Excel PERMUT function returns the number of permutations of a given number of objects from a set of objects.

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