Simple Excel Average Formula

Excel Average Formula Using The + and / Operators

 AB
1= ( 5 + 10 + 15 ) / 3 
2  
3  

The simplest Excel Average Formula for a set of values consists of the = sign, followed a the sum of the values, all divided by the number of values in the group.

A simple Excel average formula, that calculates the average of the three values 5, 10 and 15, is shown in cell A1 of the above spreadsheet on the right.

Note that the expression 5 + 10 + 15 is encased in brackets. This is necessary to ensure that the sum of the three values (not just the last value) is divided by the value 3.

As expected, this formula returns the result 10.


 AB
1= ( B1 + B2 + B3 ) / 35
2 10
3 15

As with all Excel formulas, instead of typing in the numbers directly, you can use references to cells containing numbers.

The Excel average formula in cell A1 of the above spreadsheet on the right calculates the average of the values in cells B1, B2 and B3. Again, the formula returns the result 10.


Using the Excel Average Function

Instead of using the + and / operators, as shown above, Excel provides a built-in Average Function, that can be used to calculate an average in Excel.

The Excel Average function has the following format:

=AVERAGE( number1, [number2], ... )

where number1, [number2], etc. are one or more numbers (or references to cells containing numbers) that you want to calculate the average of.

 AB
1=AVERAGE( B1, B2, B3 )5
2 10
3 15

An example of the Excel Average function is shown in cell A1 of the above spreadsheet on the right.

In this example, the Excel Average function is used to calculate the average of the three values in cells B1, B2 and B3.

Once again, the average of the three numbers is calculated to be 10.


Supplying a Range of Cells to the Average Function

You can also supply a range of cells to the Excel Average function (instead of listing the individual numbers or cells).

For example, in the spreadsheet used above, in order to find the average of the values in cells B1 - B3, you could simply type the formula:

=AVERAGE( B1:B3 )

This is much quicker than typing multiple cell references, particularly if you have a large set of values that you want to calculate the average of.

Further information and examples of the Average function are provided on the Excel Average Function page.