How to use the MEDIAN function in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to use the MEDIAN function in Excel.

What is the median of values ?

Median of the values mean, if the values are sorted in ascending or descending order and then picked out the middle number from the values. That is the median. For example in a list of 5 numbers 1, 5, 10, 50 & 75. The middle number position is calculated using a simple formula i.e. total numbers of values + divided by 2. Here 5/2 comes out to be 2.5, position of a value cannot be in decimal, so we consider 3rd position as the median value which is 10.

You must be wondering what happens if the total number of values are even. Then there are two middle numbers. What to choose then. Just take the average of those numbers. That will be the median value. For example if given a list of 6 numbers 1, 5, 10, 50, 75 & 200. Here 10 and 50 both are middle numbers in a list of values. So the average of 10 & 50 is (10+50)/2 which is 30. So 30 is the median value. Let's understand how MEDIAN function syntax works and an example to illustrate the function usage in Excel.

MEDIAN Function in Excel

The MEDIAN function in Excel returns the median value from the given list of numbers. The function know what to do in case of count of odd numbers and in count of even numbers.

MEDIAN Function syntax:


array_reference : List of values given as array like values in range C5 to C10. Given as C5:C10

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here first we test the function for smaller results.

Median of values : 5, 5, 7 : 5 (middle position number)

Median of values : 5, 6, 7, 8 : (6+7)/2 = 6.5 (average value of 2 middle numbers 6 and 7)

Now we take a list of values including text values. And see how MEDIAN function ignores text values in a list of numbers.

Now use the excel Median function on the range or array of values

In the C7 cell, we just added one more number (5.3) in the range of numbers (A1:A10).

Here we got the median of the range of values(A1:A10).

As you can see from the above examples, how to use median function in Excel.

Here are all the observational notes using the MEDIAN function in Excel
Notes :

  1. The function only works with numbers.
  2. The function ignores only text values. Be careful using along with other number format values like date, time, percentage values.
  3. The function return # NUM! Error if no value is given.
  4. The function returns the value itself if there is only one numerical value.

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