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Percentile

The k'th percentile of a range of data is the value that k% of the data values fall within.

This is explained in more detail on the Wikipedia Percentile pagePERCENTILE.INC & PERCENTILE.EXC Functions

In Excel 2010, the new PERCENTILE.INC and PERCENTILE.EXC functions both find the k'th percentile of a supplied data set.

The difference between these two functions is that, in the Percentile.Inc function the value of k is is within the range 0 to 1 __inclusive__, and in the Percentile.Exc function, the value of k is within the range 0 to 1 __exclusive__.

The Excel PERCENTILE.EXC function returns the k'th percentile of a supplied range of values for a given value of k, within the range 0 to 1 (exclusive).

The function is new in Excel 2010 and so is not available in earlier versions of Excel.

The format of the Percentile.Exc function is :

PERCENTILE.EXC( array, k )

Where the function arguments are:

array | - | The range of data values for which you want to calculate the k'th percentile |

k | - | The value, between 0 and 1 (exclusive), of the required percentile |

If k is not a multiple of 1/(n+1), (where n is the number of values in the supplied array), the function interpolates between the values in the supplied array, to calculate the percentile value. However, if k is < 1/(n+1) or k is > n/(n+1), the function is unable to interpolate, and so returns an error.

The spreadsheets below show examples of the Excel Percentile.Exc function used to calculate the k'th percentile of a set of values in cells A1 - A4 of the sample spreadsheet, for different values of k.

The formulas for the functions are shown in the spreadsheet on the left, and the results are shown in the spreadsheet on the right.

Formulas: | Results: |

Note that in the above examples:

- The value of k can be input as a decimal or a percentage - for example, value 0.2 in cell B1, is the same as 20%, - the 20th percentile
- The 50th percentile (see cell B3) falls halfway between the values of 2 and 3. Therefore, in this case, Excel has interpolated, to calculate the result 2.5.
- When k is 95% (see cell B4), the function returns the #NUM! error. This is because 95% (or 0.95) is greater than the maximum value of k, which is 0.8 (= n/(n+1)).

For further examples of the Excel Percentile.Exc function, see the Microsoft Office website

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

Common Errors

#NUM! | - | Occurs if either:
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#VALUE! | - | Occurs if the supplied value of k is non-numeric |