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Excel VARP function

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2022-03-29

The VARP function calculates the variance based on the entire population.

VARP function vs. VAR.P function

Starting from Excel 2010, the VARP function has been replaced by the VAR.P function. Although they can both be used to calculate the variance based on the entire population, the VAR.P function is more recommended for future use, because the VARP function may not be available in future versions of Excel.

Excel variance functions

The following table lists all Excel variance functions and their usage notes, which can help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

 Name  Data type  Text and logicals in references
 VAR  Sample  Ignored
 VAR.S  Sample  Ignored
 VARA  Sample  Evaluated
 VARP  Population  Ignore
 VAR.P  Population  Ignored
 VARPA  Population  Evaluated


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


  • Number1 (required): The first number or reference used in the calculation.
  • Number2, ... (required): The second and more numbers or references used in the calculation.


1. There can be up to 255 arguments at a time.
2. Arguments can be either of:
-- Numbers;
-- Range names, arrays or cell references that contain numbers.
3. The VARP function takes the arguments as the entire population.
Tips: If the data you provided represents a sample of the population, it is recommended to use the VAR.S function.
4. Logical values and text representations of numbers that you directly type in the arguments will be included in the calculation:
-- Logical values: TRUE (1) or FALSE (0);
-- Text representations of numbers: Numbers enclosed in double quotation marks such as “2”.
5. Empty cells, logical values, text, or error values will be ignored in the array or cell references.
Tips: If you want to include logical values, text representations of numbers in the array or cell references as part of the calculation, it is recommended to use the VARPA function.
6. The #VALUE! error occurs if any of the supplied arguments you typed directly in the function are text strings that cannot be interpreted as numbers by Excel.
7. The #DIV/0! error occurs if all supplied arguments are non-numeric.
8. The equation of the VAR.P function is as follows:

-- x represents each value in the sample.
--  is the average of the sample.
-- n is the number of cells in the sample range.

Return value

It returns a numeric value.


The following table lists the monthly sales for 2019, 2020 and 2021 separately. Assuming that the monthly sales for these three years are the entire population. To calculate the variance of this entire population, the VARP function can also help.

Select a cell (says J7 in this case), enter the formula below and press the Enter key to get the result.


Note: Arguments in the formula above are supplied as three cell ranges. However, you can also input the numbers directly in the function as individual numbers or number arrays.

Related Functions

Excel VARA function
The VARA function calculates the variance based on a given sample.

Excel VAR function
The VAR function calculates the variance based on a given sample.

Excel VAR.S function
The VAR.S function calculates the variance based on a given sample.

Excel VAR.P function
The VAR.P function calculates the variance based on the entire population.

Excel VARPA function
The VARPA function calculates the variance based on the entire population.

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