The Excel HARMEAN Function

Related Function:
GEOMEAN Function

The Harmonic Mean is a measure of mean that is calculated as the reciprocal of the arithmetic mean of reciprocals. This can only be calculated for positive values.

The geometric mean of a set of values, y1, y2, ..., yn is therefore given by the formula :
Harmonic Mean Equation

Note that the Harmonic mean is always less than or equal to the Geometric mean and the Geometric mean is always less than or equal to the Arithmetic mean.

Further information can be found on the Wikipedia Harmonic Mean page

Basic Description

The Excel HARMEAN function calculates the harmonic mean of a supplied set of values.

The format of the function is :

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

Where the number arguments are 1 or more positive numeric values, for which you want to calculate the harmonic mean.

These arguments can be supplied to the function either directly, as the results of other formulas, or as references to cells containing numeric values.

In Excel 2003 the function can accept up to 30 number arguments, but in Excel 2007 and later versions of Excel, the function can accept up to 255 numbers.

Harmean Function Example

Example of Excel Harmean Function

Cell B1 of the above spreadsheet on the right shows a simple example of the Excel Harmean Function, used to calculate the harmonic mean of the values in cells A1-A5.

In this example, the Harmean function returns the value 1.229508197.

Further examples of the Excel Harmean function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.

Harmean Function Errors

If you get an error from the Excel Harmean function this is likely to be one of the following :

Common Errors
#NUM!-Occurs if any of the supplied values are negative
#VALUE!-Occurs if any of the supplied values cannot be interpreted as numeric values