Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Ages in Years and Months.

Ages in Years and Months

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 20, 2015)

2

Many times in early childhood education, a child's age in Years.Months format is needed for reporting, admitting, and evaluation. Basically, this format shows the number of elapsed years and months since birth, separated by a period.

There are several ways you can go about getting the desired age. The formula you choose to do the work depends, quite literally, on your preference in formulas.

Assuming that you have the birth date in cell A1, you might think you could use some math on the date to determine the proper information. For instance, you might think that you could use this formula:

=NOW() - A1

This produces a value that is the difference between the two dates, but if you then apply a custom format ("yy.mm") to the result, you'll find out that it doesn't give the sought-after Years.Months. You get something close; the years are right, but the months vary from 1 to 12 when they should vary from 0 to 11. (Somebody can be 12 years and 0 months old, but it is not proper to say 12 years and 12 months old.)

This means that you need to start casting about for a formulaic approach. A simple formula would be the following:

=YEAR(NOW())-YEAR(A1) & "." & MONTH(NOW())-MONTH(A1)

There are many variations on the above, but the problem is that they all only look at the month of today compared to the month of the birthdate; they don't take the day of the month into account. What is that important? Because the number of elapsed months since birth is dependent on how the day of the birth month compares to the day of the present month, and the formula doesn't allow for that distinction.

So, you might consider a more complex formula that actually tries to calculate elapsed years and months, such as the following one:

=TEXT(INT((NOW() – A1)/365.25),"##0")&"."&TEXT(INT(MOD(NOW – A1,365.25)/31),"00")

This comes much closer to what is needed, but it is still possible to be off by a day or two right around the time of the month when the birth day is approached. Closer still is a formula which uses the YEARFRAC function:

=ROUNDDOWN(YEARFRAC(A1,TODAY()),0)&"."&ROUNDDOWN((YEARFRAC(A1,TODAY())-ROUNDDOWN(YEARFRAC(A1,TODAY()),0))*12,0)

The best (and simplest) formulaic approach, however, is this one:

=DATEDIF(A1,NOW(),"y") & "." & DATEDIF(A1,NOW(),"ym")

The formula relies on the DATEDIF function, which determines the difference between two dates. The value returned by the function depends on the third parameter passed to the function. In this case, the first invocation of DATEDIF returns the number of elapsed years and the second returns the number of elapsed months. It provides the most accurate results of any of the formulas discussed so far.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3230) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Ages in Years and Months.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Centering Your Worksheet

Got just a small amount of worksheet data to print out? It might look better on the printed page if you center it. Excel ...

Discover More

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Information in a worksheet needs to be displayed using fonts. If you understand the two different types of fonts available on ...

Discover More

Creating a New Document in VBA

When working with documents in a macro, it makes sense that you may need to create a document from time to time. Here's how ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Forcing Dates Forward

Want to push a date to some pre-defined day of the month? Here's some ways to force the issue.

Discover More

Calculating the Last Day in a Week Number

Given a particular week number for a year, you may want to figure out the date of the last day in that week. There is no ...

Discover More

Incrementing Months in Dates

Excel can easily store dates. If you want to increment a date by one month, there are a number of ways you can accomplish the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 7?

2017-02-16 11:12:13

Debbie Kunz

Thank you for your help. How do I find the age in years and months on a certain given day instead of NOW? I need to know how old the child will be on March 1, 2017, but need to get ready now.


2013-11-11 10:52:52

nukecity

An enhancement would be for the formulas to round to the nearest month or year. For example, if C1 is 04/02/2013 and D1 is 05/01/2013, then DATEDIF(C1,D1,"y") & "." & DATEDIF(C1,D1,"ym") returns 0.0, which if rounded would be 0.1. Likewise, if C1 is 01/01/2013 and D1 if 12/31/2013, then DATEDIF(C1,D1,"y") & "." & DATEDIF(C1,D1,"ym") returns 0.11, which if rounded would be 1.0. The forumulas would be more complicated, of course.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing