Excel DVAR Function

How to use the Excel DVAR function

Just as it is with using other different functions in Excel, there are also several ways on how to use the Excel DVAR function. This post will guide you on how to use the Excel DVAR function with syntax in Excel.




  • Database – a range of cells containing the database including headers
  • Field – The index or field name to count
  • Criteria – Range of cells containing the specified conditions including headers.


As one of the built-in functions in Excel, the Excel DVAR returns the variance of a population from a sample extracted using a database that corresponds to a given criterion. When data represents an entire population, the DVARP function can be used.


Figure 1. Excel DVAR function

The example 1 in Figure 1 above shows how to use the Excel DVAR function to find the variance of the cost of the Ms. Word module using the formula:

=DVAR(C7:E16,“Cost”, B3:C4).

In example 2 in the same figure 1 above, the DVAR function is used to find the sample variance of the Excel modules. The formula in cell H5 is as below:


Multi-row criteria

The criteria for DVAR can comprise at least 2 rows under the header. In this case, each row will be joined with “OR” logic and the expression in a particular criteria row are united with “AND” logic.

  • Criteria can include more than one row (as explained above)
  • The field argument should be provided as a number or name in double quotes (“”) representing field index.
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