EXCEL 2007: Descriptive Statistics

A. Colin Cameron, Dept. of Economics, Univ. of Calif. - Davis

This January 2009 help sheet gives information on how to obtain


We consider the following gasoline price data (cents per gallon)
These data are in gasolinepricedata.csv

[Alternatively type in cells A1:A10 the ten values
117.9, 119.9, 115.9, 121.9, 121.9, 118.9, 118.9, 123.9, 125.9, 113.9.
and then insert a header GAS PRICE in new row 1] .

To obtain various descriptive statistics

Descriptive statistics

Clicking OK yields the dialog box

Descriptive statistics
Descriptive statistics

Selecting OK yields the output

Descriptive statistics

An explanation of the kwy parts of this output is the following: 

Mean    119.9 ybar = the sample mean.
Standard error 1.145038 s/sqrt(n) = the estimated standard deviation of the sample mean
Standard deviation 3.620927 s = the estimated standard deviation of y
Variance 13.11111 s-squared = the estimated variance of y 
                = Sum of (y_i - ybar)^2
Count     10 n = sample size
Confidence level (95%) 2.590255 t(.025;n-1)*s/sqrt(n)

The mean is the simple average of the observations and is the standard estimate of the center of the data. (Other estimates are the median and the mode).
The standard deviation is the standard estimate of the variability of the data.
The standard error and the confidence level are used for statistical inference on the population mean and are discussed in Excel: Statistical Inference for univariate data


The standard output gives Mean, Standard error, Median, Mean, Standard deviation, Variance, Kurtosis, Skewness, Range, Maximum, Minimum,
Sum, and Count.

Additionally one can obtain the k-th largest and k-th smallest values by checking the appropriate column and setting k.
For example, with 43 observations one might choose the 11th smallest and 11th largest to obtain approximate estimates of the lower quartile and upper quartile. (Easier is to separately use the Quartile or Percentile Commands).


The descriptive statistics can be obtained separately by individual commands.
In addition one can find many more commands than appears in summary statistics.

Assume the data is in cells A2:A11. To obtain the sample mean and report it in, say, cell A13
either type in cell A13 the text = AVERAGE(A2:A11) 
or do the following:

You should have 119.9 in A13.

The following commands produce the same output as the default output for Tools | Data Analysis

The complete Excel 2007 statistical commands (in Formulas Tab | Function Library Group | More Functions | Statistical) are:

For further information on how to use Excel go to