## How to use the FREQUENCY function

The FREQUENCY function calculates how often values occur within a range of values and returns a vertical array of numbers. It returns an array that is one more item larger than the bins_array.

The image above demonstrates the FREQUENCY function cell range F3:F6.

This formula must be entered as an array formula, however, Excel 365 subscribers may and should enter it as a regular formula. The formula will automatically extend or "spill" values to cells below as far as needed provided the cells are empty.

Microsoft calls these formulas "dynamic arrays" and Excel returns #SPILL! error if cells below are not empty.

Follow these steps to create an array formula if you own an earlier Excel version. I am using the example above, see image above.

Select cell range F3:F6, type the formula. Press and hold CTRL + SHIFT keys simultaneously. Press Enter once. Releasee all keyboard keys.

The formula will now begin and end with a curly bracket, like this: {=array_formula}

They appear automatically, do not enter these characters yourself.

### Excel Function Syntax

**FREQUENCY(***data_array*, *bins_array***)**

### Arguments

data_array |
An array or cell range for which you want to determine frequencies. |

bins_array |
The intervals which you want to group the values in. |

### Comment

The FREQUENCY function returns two or more values in a vertical array, blank cells and text strings are ignored. This means that you can only use the function with numerical values.

### Example 1

(Array) formula in cell range D3:D6:

**Explaining formula**

The first argument is data_array and the second one is bins_array: FREQUENCY(*data_array*, *bins_array*)

FREQUENCY(B3:B10, C3:C5)

becomes

FREQUENCY({1; 2; 2; 5; 4; 7; 7; 10}, {2; 5; 10})

and returns a vertical array of numbers: {**3**; **2**; **3**; **0**}.

There are **3** values that are smaller or equal to the first value (2) in the bins_array: 1, 2, 2.

There are **2** values that are larger than 2 and smaller or equal to the second value (5) in the bins_array: 4, 5

There are **3** values that are larger than 5 and smaller or equal to the third value (10) in the bins_array: 7, 7, 10

There are **0** (zero) values that are larger than 10 in the bins_array.

### Example 2 - FREQUENCY function with a condition

The image above shows the FREQUENCY function entered in F3:F6 using an IF function to filter values based on a condition.

Array formula in cell range F3:F6:

#### Explaining the calculation

I recommend using the "Evaluate Formula" feature to learn more about formulas. This tool allows you to examine formula calculations in detail. It also lets you troubleshoot formulas, what is making my formula return an error?

Go to tab "Formulas" on the ribbon and click the "Evaluate Formula" button. A dialog box appears, click the "Evaluate" button to move to the next step in formula calculation. Click "Close" button to dismiss the dialog box.

**Step 1 - Filter values**

The IF function lets you return a value if a logical expression returns TRUE and another value if FALSE, the logical expression usually returns a boolean value but their equivalents work just fine. FALSE -> 0 (zero), TRUE -> any number.

IF(B3:B10="A",C3:C10,"")

We want to compare the values in cell range B3:B10 with "A" and if they match then return the corresponding value on the same row in cell range C3:C10. IF no match return a blank "".

IF(B3:B10="A",C3:C10,"")

becomes

IF({"A"; "B"; "A"; "B"; "A"; "B"; "A"; "B"}="A",{1; 2; 2; 5; 4; 7; 7; 10},"")

becomes

IF({TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE}, {1; 2; 2; 5; 4; 7; 7; 10},"")

and returns this array: {1; ""; 2; ""; 4; ""; 7; ""}.

**Step 2 - Frequency**

The FREQUENCY function uses the array from the IF function in the first argument, blank values "" are ignored.

FREQUENCY(IF(B3:B10="A",C3:C10,""),E3:E5)

becomes

FREQUENCY({1; ""; 2; ""; 4; ""; 7; ""},E3:E5)

becomes

FREQUENCY({1; ""; 2; ""; 4; ""; 7; ""},{2; 5; 7})

and returns {2; 1; 1;0} in cell range F3:F6.

The image above shows what the FREQUENCY function returns if you use the same numbers in the data_array and the bins_array.

Formula in cell range D3:D11:

The FREQUENCY function counts how many values there are for each number for the first instance of a particular number. For example, value 10 exist only once and the function returns 1.

Value 7 exists twice in the list and the corresponding value in the array returns 2, however, only the first instance returns the count. The remaining values for that particular value returns 0 (zero).

This can be used to identify unique distinct numbers in a list among many other things. Check out the FREQUENCY function category to find formulas that contains the FREQUENCY function.

### Articles with the 'FREQUENCY' Function

The following 5 articles have formulas that contain the FREQUENCY function.

Count unique distinct values that meet multiple criteria

This post demonstrates how to build an array formula that counts unique distinct values based on criteria. What's on this [โฆ]

Count unique distinct values within same week, month or year

The array formula in cell E3 counts unique distinct items for all dates within the same week. Example, week 2 [โฆ]

How to count unique distinct values based on a date

The array formula in cell D3 calculates the number of unique distinct items based on the given date in column B. [โฆ]

Find the longest/shortest consecutive sequence of a value

The array formula in cell D3 returns the the length of longest consecutive sequence of a value in column A. Cell [โฆ]

Can someone explain to me why this happens? This example is working. FREQUENCY function returns {2; 1; 1}. 2 values (0.1 and [โฆ]

### Functions in 'Statistical'

The FREQUENCY function function is one of many functions in the 'Statistical' category.

How to use the AVEDEV function

The AVEDEV function calculates the average of the absolute deviations of data points from their mean. The absolute deviation from the [โฆ]

How to use the AVERAGE function

Calculates the average of numbers in a cell range. In other words, the sum of a group of numbers and [โฆ]

How to use the AVERAGEA function

The AVERAGEA function returns the average of a group of values. Text and boolean value FALSE evaluates to 0. TRUE to [โฆ]

How to use the AVERAGEIF function

The AVERAGEIF function returns the average of cell values that are valid for a given condition. Formula in cell D3: [โฆ]

How to use the AVERAGEIFS function

The AVERAGEIFS function returns the average of cell values that evaluates to TRUE for multiple criteria. Formula in cell F6: =AVERAGEIFS(D3:D8,B3:B8,F3,C3:C8,G3) [โฆ]

How to use the BETA.DIST function

The BETA.DIST function calculates the beta distribution. It represents outcomes in the form of probabilities. This function was introduced in Excel [โฆ]

How to use the BETA.INV function

The BETA.INV function calculates the inverse of the cumulative beta distribution. This function has replaced the BETA.INV function and was [โฆ]

How to use the BINOM.DIST function

The BINOM.DIST function calculates the individual term binomial distribution probability, use this function when the success probability is constant through [โฆ]

How to use the BINOM.INV function

The BINOM.INV function calculates the minimum value for which the binomial distribution is equal to or greater than a given [โฆ]

How to use the CHISQ.DIST function

The CHISQ.DIST function calculates the probability of the chi-squared distribution. Use this function to check if a hypothesize is valid. It [โฆ]

How to use the CHISQ.DIST.RT function

The CHISQ.DIST.RT function was introduced in Excel 2010 and calculates the right-tailed probability of the chi-squared distribution. It has replaced the [โฆ]

How to use the CHISQ.INV function

The CHISQ.INV function was introduced in Excel 2010 and calculates the inverse of the left-tailed probability of the chi-squared distribution. [โฆ]

How to use the CHISQ.INV.RT function

The CHISQ.INV.RT function was introduced in Excel 2010 and calculates the inverse of the right-tailed probability of the chi-squared distribution. [โฆ]

How to use the CHISQ.TEST function

The CHISQ.TEST function calculates the test for independence, the value returned from the chi-squared statistical distribution and the correct degrees [โฆ]

How to use the CONFIDENCE.NORM function

The CONFIDENCE.NORM function calculates the confidence interval for a population mean. Formula in cell C7: =CONFIDENCE.NORM(C3,C4,C5) Excel Function Syntax CONFIDENCE.NORM(alpha,standard_dev,size) [โฆ]

How to use the CONFIDENCE.T function

The CONFIDENCE.T function calculates the confidence range for a population mean using a Student's t distribution. Formula in cell C7: [โฆ]

How to use the CORREL function

The CORREL function calculates the correlation between two groups of numbers. Formula in cell B12: =CORREL(C3:C9, D3:D9) The value in cell [โฆ]

The COUNT function counts all numerical values in an argument, it allows you to have up to 255 arguments. Blank [โฆ]

How to use the COUNTA function

The COUNTA function counts the non-empty or blank cells in a cell reference. The picture above demonstrates the COUNTA function [โฆ]

How to use the COUNTBLANK function

The COUNTBLANK function counts empty or blank cells in a range. The picture above demonstrates the COUNTBLANK function entered in [โฆ]

How to use the COUNTIF function

Counts the number of cells that meet a specific condition.

How to use the COUNTIFS function

Checks multiple conditions against the same number of cell ranges and counts how many times all criteria are met.

How to use the COVARIANCE.P function

The COVARIANCE.P function calculates the covariance meaning the average of the products of deviations for each pair in two different [โฆ]

How to use the COVARIANCE.S function

The COVARIANCE.S function calculates the sample covariance meaning the average of the products of deviations for each pair in two [โฆ]

How to use the EXPON.DIST function

The EXPON.DIST function calculates the exponential distribution representing an outcome in the form of probability. This function was introduced in Excel [โฆ]

How to use the F.DIST function

The F.DIST function calculates the F probability for two tests. This function was introduced in Excel 2010 and has replaced [โฆ]

How to use the F.DIST.RT function

The F.DIST.RT function calculates the right-tailed F probability for two tests. This function was introduced in Excel 2010 and has replaced [โฆ]

How to use the F.TEST function

The F.TEST function calculates the two-tailed probability from an F-test, the value shows if the variances from two data sets [โฆ]

How to use the FORECAST.LINEAR function

The FORECAST.LINEAR function calculates a value based on existing x and y values using linear regression. Use this function to [โฆ]

How to use the FREQUENCY function

Returns how many times values exist in a given range. Note, this function returns an array of values.

The GAMMA function calculates the GAMMA value. It is an extension of the factorial function, the argument is shifted down [โฆ]

How to use the GAMMA.DIST function

The GAMMA.DIST function calculates the gamma often used in queuing analysis (probability statistics) that may have a skewed distribution. This [โฆ]

How to use the GEOMEAN function

The GEOMEAN function calculates the geometric mean. It represents the typical value of a set of numerical values based on the [โฆ]

How to use the GROWTH function

The GROWTH function returns estimated exponential growth based on given data. It calculates the y-values for new x-values based on [โฆ]

How to use the INTERCEPT function

The INTERCEPT function returns a value representing the y-value where a line intersects the y-axis. The line is calculated using [โฆ]

The LARGE function calculates the k-th largest value from an array of numbers. Use the LARGE function, for example, to extract [โฆ]

How to use the LINEST function

The LINEST function returns an array of values representing the parameters of a straight line based on the "least squares" [โฆ]

How to use the LOGEST function

The LOGEST function returns an array of values representing the parameters of an exponential curve that fits your data, based [โฆ]

How to use the LOGNORM.DIST function

The LOGNORMDIST function calculates the lognormal distribution of argument x, based on a normally distributed ln(x) with the arguments of mean and standard_dev. This [โฆ]

The MAX function allows you to calculate the largest number in a cell range. The formula in cell D3 extracts [โฆ]

How to use the MAXIFS function

The MAXIFS function allows you to calculate the highest value based on a condition or criteria. Formula in cell G4: [โฆ]

How to use the MEDIAN function

The MEDIAN function calculates the median based on a group of numbers. The median is the middle number of a [โฆ]

The MIN function allows you to retrieve the smallest number in a cell range. The formula in cell D3 extracts [โฆ]

The MINA function returns the smallest number. Text values and blanks are ignored, boolean value TRUE evaluates to 1 and FALSE [โฆ]

How to use the MINIFS function

The MINIFS function calculates the smallest value based on a given set of criteria. Formula in cell E3: =MINIFS(C3:C10,B3:B10,"A") The [โฆ]

How to use the MODE.MULT function

The MODE.MULT function calculates the most frequent number in a cell range. It will return multiple numbers if they are equally [โฆ]

How to use the MODE.SNGL function

The MODE.SNGL function calculates the most frequent value in an array or cell range. Excel Function Syntax MODE.SNGL(number1,[number2],...) Arguments number1 [โฆ]

How to use the NORM.DIST function

The NORM.DIST function calculates the normal distribution for a given mean and standard deviation. Formula in cell C7: =NORM.DIST(C2,C3,C4,C5) Excel [โฆ]

How to use the NORM.INV function

The NORM.INV function calculates the inverse of the normal cumulative distribution for a given mean and standard deviation. Formula in [โฆ]

How to use the PERCENTRANK.EXC function

The PERCENTRANK.INC function calculates the percent rank of a given number in a data set. This function was introduced in [โฆ]

How to use the PERCENTRANK.INC function

The PERCENTRANK.INC function calculates the percent rank of a given number compared to the whole data set. The image above [โฆ]

How to use the PERMUT function

The PERMUT function returns the number of permutations for a set of elements that can be selected from a larger [โฆ]

How to use the PERMUTATIONA function

The PERMUTATIONA function returns the number of permutations for a specific number of elements that can be selected from a [โฆ]

The PHI function calculates a number of the density function for a standard normal distribution. Formula in cell C3: =PHI(B3) Excel [โฆ]

The PROB function calculates the probability that values in a range are between a given lower and upper limit. Probability [โฆ]

How to use the QUARTILE.EXC function

The QUARTILE.EXC function returns the quartile of a data set, use the QUARTILE.EXC function to divide data into groups. This [โฆ]

How to use the QUARTILE.INC function

The QUARTILE.INC function returns the quartile of a data set, based on percentile values from 0..1, inclusive. Use the Quartiles.inc [โฆ]

How to use the RANK.AVG function

The RANK.AVG function returns the rank of a number in a list of numbers. The number returned indicates its size [โฆ]

How to use the RANK.EQ function

The RANK.EQ function calculates the rank of a number in a list of numbers, based on its position if the [โฆ]

The SKEW function calculates the skewness of a group of values with an asymmetric tail from its mean value. Formula in [โฆ]

The SLOPE function calculates the slope of the linear regression line through coordinates. Formula in cell B10: =SLOPE(B3:B7,C3:C7) Excel Function [โฆ]

The SMALL function lets you extract a number in a cell range based on how small it is compared to the other numbers in the group.

How to use the STANDARDIZE function

The STANDARDIZE function calculates a normalized value from a distribution characterized by mean and standard_dev. Formula in cell C5: =STANDARDIZE(C2, [โฆ]

How to use the STDEV.P function

The STDEV.P function returns standard deviation based on the entire population. The standard deviation is how widely numbers are distributed [โฆ]

How to use the STDEV.S function

The STDEV.S function returns standard deviation based on a sample of the entire population. The standard deviation is how widely [โฆ]

How to use the STDEVA function

The STDEVA function estimates the standard deviation from a sample of values. Standard deviation shows how much the values differ [โฆ]

How to use the STDEVPA function

The STDEVPA function returns the standard deviation based on the entire population, including text and logical values. The standard deviation [โฆ]

The TREND function calculates values along a linear trend. Fits a straight line (using the method of least squares) to [โฆ]

How to use the TRIMMEAN function

The TRIMMEAN function calculates the mean of the interior of a data set. The function excludes a percentage of data [โฆ]

The VAR.P function returns the variance based on the entire population. The function ignores logical and text values. Variance shows [โฆ]

The VAR.S function tries to estimate the variance based on a sample of the population. The function ignores logical and [โฆ]

### 3 Responses to โHow to use the FREQUENCY functionโ

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**Contact Oscar**

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Oscar,

Often I see spreadsheets that have used the Histogram feature (in the Data Analysis Tools) to create a frequency distribution. Although this works, it has one major drawback: it is static. If the data changes, then the Histogram count does not update so it may be wrong.

Using the FREQUENCY function, as you demonstrate in this article, is a much better solution.

Cheers,

Bob.

[โฆ] Frequency function [โฆ]

I tried frequency function many time but it does not work as shown in Example 2.

- First, I type the formula: =Frequency(B3:B10,C:C5)

- Then I press ctrl+shift+enter

- The result is only one value of 3 instead of an array as it is supposed to be

Please tell me why? Thank you