Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on May 05, 2022

The DSTDEV function calculates an estimation of the standard deviation based on a sample of a population. The function also allows you to specify criteria applied to a population/database.

The standard deviation is a number describing how widely numbers are distributed around the average value.

Formula in cell B15:


Excel Function Syntax

DSTDEV(database, field, criteria)


database Required.  The cell reference to a list or database.
field Required. The field argument lets you choose which column to use. You can use the column name enclosed with double quotation marks or the corresponding column number.
criteria Required.  A cell reference to the criteria range. The criteria range needs to have column labels and at least one condition below the column label.


Excel defines a database as a list of related data in which rows of related information are records, and columns of data are fields. The first row of the list contains labels for each column.

Allowed criteria range characters are less than and greater than signs <>, use them to specify a criteria range. Also, asterisks * can be used to match partial strings.

You can place your criteria range wherever you want on your worksheet, however, it is not recommended below the list/database. The function needs a blank row below the list to work properly.