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: An Average that Excludes Zero Values.

An Average that Excludes Zero Values

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 26, 2014)

Veronica knows how to use the AVERAGE function to determine the average of a range of values. She would like to have the average determined based on the non-zero values in the range, however.

There are several ways you can approach this problem. The first is to remember how an average is calculated. It is defined as the sum of a range of values divided by the number of items in the range. Thus, you could figure the exclusionary average by simply making sure that the denominator (the number you are dividing by) does not include any zero values. For instance:

=SUM(A1:A50)/COUNTIF(A1:A50,"<>0")

This approach uses the COUNTIF function to determine the number of cells in the range (A1:A50) that don't contain zero. If this range contains not only zeros but also blank cells, and you don't want the blank cells figured into the result, then you need to use a more complex formula:

=SUM(A1:A50)/(COUNTIF(A1:A50,"<>0")-COUNTBLANK(A1:A50)-
(COUNTA(A1:A50)-COUNT(A1:A50)))

The COUNTIF function counts cells that do not explicitly evaluate to 0, but it will count blank and text cells. The COUNTBLANK term adjusts for the blank cells and the difference between COUNTA and COUNT adjusts the total count for cells that contain text.

Of course you can also use an array formula to do your calculation:

=AVERAGE(IF(A1:A50<>0,A1:A50))

Remember that array formulas need to be entered by using the combination Ctrl+Shift+Enter. This array formula also excludes blanks or cells containing text.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7727) 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: An Average that Excludes Zero Values.

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

Finding Where Templates Are Stored

The first step in modifying templates is to find out where they are stored on your system. Here's the easiest way to figure ...

Discover More

Changing Fonts in Data Validation Drop-Down Lists

The data validation capabilities of Excel allow you to easily create drop-down lists showing what data is acceptable for a ...

Discover More

Inserting Multiple Graphics in a Document

Word allows you to easily place graphics in a document. Placing one or two graphics is easy, but placing many graphics in a ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Median of Selected Numbers

Need to find a median value in a series of values? It's easy with the MEDIAN function. What isn't as easy is to derive the ...

Discover More

Counting Cells with Specific Characters

Excel is used by many people to hold all sorts of data, not just numbers. If you have cells that include meaningful leading ...

Discover More

Calculating a Geometric Standard Deviation

One of the areas in which Excel provides worksheet functions is in the arena of statistical analysis. You may want to ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 eight minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.