Excel STDEV function

Summary

The Excel STDEV function calculates the standard deviation of a dataset that represents a sample. Standard deviation is a measure of how spread out numbers are from the mean (average). STDEV is used in various fields for statistical analysis, helping to quantify the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of data values.
Syntax
				
					=STDEV(number1, [number2], ...)
				
			
  • number1: The first number, cell reference, or range in the sample.
  • number2, …: [Optional] Additional numbers, cell references, or ranges, up to 255.
Return value
The standard deviation of the sample.

How to use

To calculate the standard deviation, input directly numbers or specify cell references/ranges that contain the sample data. STDEV considers only numeric values, ignoring text, logical values (TRUE and FALSE), and empty cells.

Examples

Simple STDEV
Calculating Standard Deviation for Test Scores: To assess the variability of student test scores.
				
					=STDEV(A1:A10)
				
			
If A1:A10 contains a set of test scores, STDEV calculates the standard deviation, providing insight into how much the scores deviate from the average score.
STDEV with Direct Values
Determining Variability Among Specific Numbers: To find the standard deviation of a directly specified set of numbers.
				
					=STDEV(10, 20, 30, 40, 50)
				
			
This formula calculates the standard deviation of the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50, offering a measure of their spread relative to their mean.
STDEV Across Multiple Ranges
Assessing Dispersion Across Different Data Sets: To determine the standard deviation in non-adjacent ranges.
				
					=STDEV(B2:B10, D2:D10)
				
			
Assuming B2:B10 and D2:D10 contain numeric data, STDEV evaluates both ranges and calculates the standard deviation across all the numbers, indicating the overall variability.

Additional Notes

  • STDEV is designed for samples. If you have data for an entire population, use STDEVP or STDEV.P in newer versions of Excel.
  • Excel offers several standard deviation functions, including STDEVA and STDEV.S (for samples) and STDEVP, STDEVPA, and STDEV.P (for populations), each considering different types of data and calculation methods.

Related Functions

Excel VAR function

The Excel VAR function calculates variance based on a sample, important for understanding data dispersion.

Excel STDEV.S function

The Excel STDEV.S function estimates the standard deviation using a sample, optimizing for sample-based variability analysis.

Excel STDEV.P function

The Excel STDEV.P function calculates standard deviation based on the entire population, key for precise variability measures.

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