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The VARPA function returns the variance of a population, which is the average of the squared differences from the mean. It is a statistical function commonly used to measure the variability or spread of a set of data. The VARPA function is similar to the VARP function, but it considers all values in the population, including text and logical values, instead of just numerical values.


Use the VARPA formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter:

=VARPA(value1, value2,...)
  1. value1, value2,... (required):
    One or more values or arrays of values representing the population to calculate the variance for. Text and logical values are included in the calculation.


Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the VARPA formula in Google Sheets.

Calculating variance of a population

Use VARPA to calculate the variance of a population of values, including text and logical values.

Measuring variability

Use VARPA to measure the variability or spread of a set of data that includes text and logical values.

Comparing variability

Compare the variability of two or more populations using VARPA to determine if they are significantly different.

Common Mistakes

VARPA not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the VARPA Google Sheets Formula:

Using VARPA with a sample

VARPA calculates the variance of a population. If you have a sample, use the VAR formula instead.

Not providing any arguments

Make sure to provide at least one argument to VARPA to calculate the variance.

The following functions are similar to VARPA or are often used with it in a formula:

  • VARP

    The VARP function is a statistical function in Google Sheets that returns the variance of a population based on a set of values. Variance is a measure of how spread out a set of data is from its average value. This function is commonly used in statistics and data analysis.


    The STDEVP function calculates the standard deviation of an entire population. It is commonly used in statistical analysis to measure the amount of variation or dispersion in a set of data. This function takes in at least two numerical arguments representing the values in the population for which you want to calculate the standard deviation.


    The STDEVPA function returns the standard deviation for the entire population given a sample of numbers as input. It is used to estimate the standard deviation of an entire population based on a sample. This function is useful when the entire population is not known and only a sample is available.


    The AVERAGE function calculates the average (arithmetic mean) of the values passed to it. It is commonly used to find the average of a range of cells containing numerical data.


    The MEDIAN function returns the median (middle) value of a set of numbers. It is commonly used to find the middle value in a range of data points. If the number of data points is even, it returns the average of the two middle values. This function can be useful in statistical analysis and data visualization.

Learn More

You can learn more about the VARPA Google Sheets function on Google Support.