Using the Excel VARP Function


The Excel VARP function calculates the variance based on the entire population, ignoring logical and text values. VARP has been replaced by the VAR.P function. While VARP remains as a compatibility function, Microsoft recommends using VAR.P.

To estimate the variance for a sample of the population, use the VAR.S function.


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

Syntax Breakdown

Number 1
Required. The first number that corresponds to a population.

Number 2
Number 2 and subsequent number arguments are optional. The function can accept up to 255 arguments. An array or reference to an array can also be used.

Usage Notes

VARP calculate the variance from data that is representative of the entire population. To calculate the variance for a sample of the population, use the VAR.S function.

Variance is used to provide a general idea of how far a set of numbers are spread out from the average value. More formally, it is the expectation of the squared deviation of a random variable from its mean.

Logical values and text representations of numbers that are hard-coded into an argument are evaluated. The function ignores logical values, text representation of numbers, error values, and empty cells that are contained in an array or reference.

Use the VARA function to calculate logical values and text representation of numbers.

Excel Variance Functions
Function Data Set Text & Logical Values
VAR Sample Ignored
VARP Population Ignored
VAR.S Sample Ignored
VAR.P Population Ignored
VARA Sample Evaluated
VARPA Population Evaluated