Excel MIN function

Summary

The Excel MIN function identifies the smallest numeric value in a dataset. Comparable to the MAX function but for the opposite purpose, MIN is used in various contexts to determine the lowest number among a range of values or set of numbers, making it fundamental for data analysis where identifying minimum values is key.
Syntax
				
					=MIN(number1, [number2], ...)
				
			
  • number1: The first number, cell reference, or range to find the minimum value from.
  • number2, …: [Optional] Additional numbers, cell references, or ranges to consider for the minimum value, up to 255.
Return value
The smallest number in the list of arguments.

How to use

Simply input numbers directly, or specify cell references or ranges that contain the data from which you want to find the minimum value. MIN will ignore any text, logical values (TRUE and FALSE), and empty cells, focusing solely on numeric data.

Examples

Simple MIN
Identifying the Lowest Test Score: To find the minimum score from a list of student test scores.
				
					=MIN(A1:A10)
				
			
If A1:A10 includes scores ranging from 55 to 98, MIN returns 55, pinpointing the lowest score among the students.
MIN with Direct Values
Determining the Smallest Number Directly: To compare individual numbers and find the smallest one.
				
					=MIN(23, 47, 35, 89, 56)
				
			
This formula examines the numbers 23, 47, 35, 89, and 56 directly and identifies 23 as the smallest value.
MIN Across Multiple Ranges
Finding the Minimum Value Across Diverse Data Sets: To determine the lowest value in non-contiguous ranges.
				
					=MIN(B2:B10, D2:D10)
				
			
Assuming B2:B10 and D2:D10 contain different sets of numbers, MIN evaluates both ranges and identifies the lowest value found in either range.
MIN with Non-Numeric Cells
Ignoring Text and Blank Cells: To calculate the minimum numeric value in a range that includes text or empty cells.
				
					=MIN(E1:E10)
				
			
If E1:E10 comprises a mix of numbers, text entries, and empty cells, MIN focuses on numeric values only to determine the minimum, excluding non-numeric cells from its calculation.

Additional Notes

  • MIN is invaluable for quickly identifying the lowest value in data sets for financial, scientific, educational, and other analytical purposes.
  • For situations requiring the identification of the smallest value based on specific conditions, the MINIFS function can be used to apply criteria-based evaluations.

Related Functions

Excel RANK function

The Excel RANK function assigns a rank to a number within a list of numbers, essential for competitive analysis and scoring.

Excel AGGREGATE function

The Excel AGGREGATE function performs calculations like SUM, AVERAGE across lists, ignoring errors or hidden rows, enhancing data analysis.

Excel MAX function

The Excel MAX function finds the highest value in a set, key for identifying peak data points.

Excel MINIFS function

The Excel MINIFS function finds the minimum value among cells specified by criteria, enhancing targeted data examination.

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