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Excel PERCENTILE Function

Excel PERCENTILE function
Summary 

The Excel PERCENTILE function calculates the "kth percentile" for a set of data. A percentile is a value below which a given percentage of values in a data set fall. You can use PERCENTILE to determine the 90th percentile, the 80th percentile, etc.

Purpose 
Get kth percentile
Return value 
Calculated percentile for k
Syntax 
=PERCENTILE (array, k)
Arguments 
  • array - Data values.
  • k - Number representing kth percentile.
Usage notes 

The Excel PERCENTILE function calculates the "kth percentile" for a set of data. A percentile is a value below which a given percentage of values in a data set fall. A percentile calculated with .4 as k means 40% percent of values are less than or equal to the calculated result, a percentile calculated with k = .9 means 90% percent of values are less than or equal to the calculated result.

To use PERCENTILE, provide a range of values and a number between 0 and 1 for the "k" argument, which represents percent. For example:

=PERCENTILE(range,.4) // 40th percentile
=PERCENTILE(range,.9) // 90th percentile

You can also specify k as a percent using the % character:

=PERCENTILE(range,80%) // 80th percentile

PERCENTILE returns a value greater than or equal to the specified percentile.

In the example shown, the formula in G5 is:

=PERCENTILE(scores,E5)

where "scores" is the named range C5:C14.

Note: Microsoft classifies PERCENTILE as a "compatibility function", now replaced by the PERCENTILE.INC function.

Notes

  1. k can be provided as a decimal (.5) or a percentage (50%)
  2. k must be between 0 and 1, otherwise PERCENTILE will return the #NUM! error.
  3. When percentiles fall between values, PERCENTILE will interpolate and return an intermediate value.