# Excel VAR Function

The Excel VAR function estimates the variance of a sample of data. If data represents the entire population, use the VARP function or the newer VAR.P function. VAR ignores text values and logicals in references.

**number1**- First number or reference.**number2**- [optional] Second number or reference.

The VAR function estimates the variance for a sample of data. Variance provides a general idea of the spread of data. In the example shown, the formula in F4 is:

=VAR(C5:C10)

VAR ignores text and logicals passed into as cell references. For example, VAR will ignore FALSE when it appears in a range like A1:A10. However, VAR will evaluate logical values, and text representations of numbers hardcoded directly as arguments.

*Note: Microsoft classifies VAR as a "compatibility function", now replaced by the VAR.S function.*

### Variation functions in Excel

The table below summarizes the variation functions available in Excel.

Name | Data set | Text and logicals |
---|---|---|

VAR | Sample | Ignored |

VARP | Population | Ignored |

VAR.S | Sample | Ignored |

VAR.P | Population | Ignored |

VARA | Sample | Evaluated |

VARPA | Population | Evaluated |

### Notes

- VAR assumes arguments a sample of data, not entire population. If data represents the entire population, use VAR or VAR.P
- VAR only evaluates numbers in references, ignoring empty cells, text, and logical values like TRUE or FALSE.
- Arguments can either be numbers or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers.
- Arguments can be hard-coded values instead of references.
- To evaluate logical values and/or text in references, use the VARA function.