How to use the MEDIAN Function?

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  • Applies to: Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Excel for the web, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel Starter 2010.

This post will teach you how to use the MEDIAN function in Microsoft Excel, including a summary of it, its formula syntax, and also an example to test out for yourself.

Summary of the MEDIAN Function

Yields the median of the selected numbers. The median is simply the middle number in a collection of numbers.

The middle of some stone steps - the MEDIAN function.
Image by Peter H from Pixabay.

The MEDIAN Function’s Syntax

MEDIAN(number1, [number2], …)

The MEDIAN function syntax contains these particular arguments:

  • Number1, number2, …  –  Number1 is essential, numbers following this are entirely optional. However, there is a cap of 1 to 255 numbers for which you seek the median out of.

Remarks of the MEDIAN Function

  • If there is an even set of numbers in the range, then MEDIAN calculates the average of the two middle numbers. Refer to the second formula in the example.
  • Arguments can definitively comprise numbers or names, arrays, or references that have numbers.
  • Logical values and text representations of numbers that you enter right into the list of arguments are taken into account.
  • If an array or reference argument includes text, logical values, or empty cells, those values are skipped altogether; however, cells with the value zero are considered.
  • Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be converted into numbers lead to errors.

Note: The MEDIAN function measures central tendency, which is the central location of a set of numbers in a statistical distribution. The three most regular measures of central tendency are:

  • Average  – the arithmetic mean, and is calculated by summing a collection of numbers and then dividing by the total of those numbers. For example, the average of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 30 divided by 6, which is 5.
  • Median  – the middle number of a range of numbers; that is, half the numbers have values that are higher than the median, and half the numbers have values that are below the median. For example, the median of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 4.
  • Mode  – the most frequently occurring number in a set of numbers. For example, the mode of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 3.

In the case of a symmetrical distribution of a range of numbers, these three measures of central tendency are all the same. For a skewed distribution of an array of numbers, they can be varied.


Copy the example data in the below table, and paste it into cell A1 of a brand new Excel worksheet. For formulas to display results, choose them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you must, you can extend the column widths to give you the fullest picture of all the data.

=MEDIAN(A2:A6)Median of the 5 numbers in the range A2:A6. Because there are 5 values, the third is the median.3
=MEDIAN(A2:A7)Median of the 6 numbers in the range A2:A7. Because there are six numbers, the median is the midway point between the third and fourth numbers.3.5

Similar Topics to Explore

Rank data without sorting with RANK

Return the largest value in a data set with LARGE

Return the smallest value in a data set with SMALL

Tabulate blank cells with COUNTBLANKĀ 

Determine frequency distributions with FREQUENCY 

Build analysis via regression techniques with TREND

GROWTH function

All statistical functions

Other Links

Excel Tutorial

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