Calculating the Frequency of Specific Values within a Range of Values

If you need to calculate how often a value occurs within a range of values, you can use the FREQUENCY function.  For example if you are a Sales Manager you might need to determine how often a sales figure occurs within an interval or bracket to determine the most frequent or least frequent sales figures that your sales team brings in.  The FREQUENCY function can help you achieve that.

The FREQUENCY function calculates how often values occur within a range of values, and then returns a vertical array of numbers.  Because FREQUENCY returns an array, it must be entered as an array formula.

The FREQUENCY function syntax has the following arguments:

Data_array Required:

An array of, or reference to a set of values for which you want to count frequencies.  If data_array contains no values, FREQUENCY returns an array of zeros.

Bins_array Required:

An array of, or reference to intervals into which you want to group the values in data_array.  If bins_array contains no values, FREQUENCY returns the number of elements in data_array.

Download the sample workbook to practice this exercise

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2007, 2010 and 2013

The screenshot below will be used for this example.








1. Highlight the data range E2:E6 as it is an array formula.

2. Type the formula =FREQUENCY(B2:B14,C2:C5) in the formula bar.









4. The result will display as shown below.  The frequency of sales in each interval or bracket has been tabulated and the Sales Manager can make decisions about key account strategies, for example, based on the frequency of sales in each interval or bracket.









  • FREQUENCY is entered as an array formula after you select a range of adjacent cells into which you want the returned distribution to appear.
  • The number of elements in the returned array is one more than the number of elements in bins_array, the extra element in the returned array returns the count of any values above the highest interval.  For example, when counting three ranges of values (intervals) that are entered into three cells, be sure to enter FREQUENCY into four cells for the results.  The extra cell returns the number of values in data_array that are greater than the third interval value.
  • FREQUENCY ignores blank cells and text.
  • Formulas that return arrays must be entered as array formulas.