Excel STDEV.S function


The Excel STDEV.S function calculates the standard deviation of a dataset that represents a sample of the entire population. This function is essential for statistical analysis when you’re working with a subset of data and need to estimate the variability within this subset. STDEV.S is used to understand how spread out the sample values are from the sample mean, providing insights into the dispersion of data points.
					=STDEV.S(number1, [number2], ...)
  • number1: The first number, cell reference, or range in the sample.
  • number2, …: [Optional] Additional numbers, cell references, or ranges to consider in the calculation, up to 255.
Return value
The standard deviation of the sample.

How to use

To calculate the standard deviation for a sample, directly input numbers or specify cell references/ranges containing the sample data. STDEV.S focuses on numeric values, ignoring text, logical values, and empty cells. It’s particularly useful for analyzing the variability of sample data to make inferences about the population variance.


Simple STDEV.S
Analyzing Variability in Exam Scores: To calculate the standard deviation of scores from a classroom test as a sample of the wider student population.
If A1:A30 contains a set of scores from a class, STDEV.S computes the standard deviation, offering a measure of how the scores vary from the average score of this sample.
STDEV.S with Direct Values
Measuring Spread Among Specific Data Points: To find the variability in a set of directly specified production costs.
					=STDEV.S(1200, 1300, 1250, 1400, 1350)
This formula calculates the standard deviation of the production costs, highlighting the variability among these costs relative to their average.
STDEV.S Across Multiple Ranges
Evaluating Dispersion Across Different Samples: To determine the standard deviation for combined feedback ratings from two product trials.
					=STDEV.S(B2:B20, D2:D20)
Assuming B2:B20 and D2:D20 contain feedback ratings from two separate product trials, STDEV.S assesses the combined set of ratings to compute the standard deviation, showing the overall variability in feedback.

Additional Notes

  • STDEV.S should be used when your data is a sample of a larger population. If you have data for the entire population, use STDEV.P instead.
  • Understanding the distinction between STDEV.S and STDEV.P is crucial for accurate statistical analysis, as the choice between these functions affects how standard deviation is calculated and interpreted.

Related Functions

Excel STDEV.P function

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

Excel VAR.S function

The Excel VAR.S function estimates variance based on a sample, aiding in the analysis of data spread and dispersion.

Excel STDEV function

The Excel STDEV function estimates standard deviation based on a sample, vital for assessing data variability.

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