# How to Average the Last N Values in Excel

In Excel there are a lot of built-in functions, and **AVERAGE** is one of the most frequently used functions. We can apply it to calculate the average of numbers from a given range reference. In daily work, we may apply **AVERAGE** function together with some other functions to get average based on some conditions. For example, get the average of sales in the nearest 3 days. In this article, we will let you know the method to apply **AVERAGE** function together with **OFFSET **function and **COUNT** function to get the average of last N values from a dynamic range.

In this article, we will introduce you the syntax, arguments, and basic usage of above three functions. We will also explain how the formula works with these functions.

Table of Contents

**EXAMPLE**

In this case, we want to calculate the average of the last 3 values in “Amount” column. If “Amount” range is a fixed range, we can directly create formula “=AVERAGE(C4:C6)” to get the average of last 3 values. If this range is a dynamic range, for example add a new line for date 5/31/2021, the last 3 values are changed due to a new row is inserted. So, the simple formula with only **AVERAGE** function doesn’t work.

To get the average of last N values for a dynamic range, we can apply **AVERAGE** function together with other functions to help us. In this article, to approach our goal, we also apply **OFFSET** function together with **COUNT** function to help us set our average range.

**FORMULA with AVERAGE & OFFSET & COUNT FUNCTIONS**

In E2, enter the formula **=AVERAGE(OFFSET(C1,COUNT(C:C),0,-3))**, then press **Enter**, average of last three amounts is $6166.67.

(5500+4000+9000)/3=6166.666666, keep two decimal places 6166.67. The formula works correctly.

**FUNCTION INTRODUCTION**

**AVERAGE function returns the average of numbers from a given range reference.**

**Syntax: **

=AVERAGE(number1, [number2], …)

**Usage:**

**OFFSET returns a number or a dynamic range based on given five parameters: starting point, row offset, column offset, height in rows and width in rows. **

**Syntax: **

=OFFSET(reference, rows, cols, [height], [width])

**Usage 1:**

**Reference: **A1, it is the starting point

**Rows: **3, 3 rows below the starting point

**Cols: **2, 2 columns to offset to the right of the starting point

**Height & Width: **optional, no value

**Usage 2:**

**Reference: **A1, it is the starting point

**Rows: **3, 3 rows below the starting point

**Cols: **2, 2 columns to offset to the right of the starting point

**Height: **2, it is used together with width, determine the size of the returned range reference, in this case is 2*2 (two rows*two columns)

**Width: **2, it is used together with height, determine the size of the returned range reference, in this case is 2*2 (two rows*two columns)

**COUNT returns the count of numbers from a given range.**

**Syntax:**

=COUNT(value1, [value2], …)

**Usage:**

**EXPLANATION**

=AVERAGE(OFFSET(C1,COUNT(C:C),0,-3))

In this formula, **C:C** is a **full column reference**, it represents the entire C column; if user want to cover entire C, D and E columns, we can enter **C:E** to represent multiple columns, just enter the start column index and end column index, use colon “:” to concentrate them. A full row reference is similar with a full column reference, for example, **1:3** means the first three entire rows. We often use full column or row reference when the selected range is a dynamic range, and user may add or delete column or row at any moment.

In this case, **COUNT(C:C)** returns 5, there are five cells with numbers in column C.

** **

Now, for **OFFSET** part, the five inputs are:

**Reference: **C1 (header of column C, it will not be included when counting row and columns)

**Rows: **5. 5 rows below the starting point. The returned range is started in row 6.

**Cols: **0. No column to offset to the starting point.

Based on above “Rows” and “Cols” two parameters, we can confirm one point of our returned range, it is C6.

**Height: **-3. It represents that the returned range is 3 rows in height. Currently, Excel **OFFSET** function can handle the case height and width are negative numbers. In this case, height value is “-3”, so from C6, **OFFSET** function expands the range 3 rows backwards to the starting point C1.

**Width: **No value. Width value is optional for **OFFSET** function. If it is omitted, the returned range is only limited in current column.

Based on above “Height” and “Width”, we can confirm the returned range, it is C4:C6.

Now, **=AVERAGE(OFFSET(C1,COUNT(C:C),0,-3))** is equal to **=AVERAGE(C4:C6)**. After above steps, we get correct value 6166.67.

**SUMMARY**

**1**. **AVERAGE** function is used for returning the average of some numbers from a given range in Excel.

**2**. **OFFSET** function returns a number or a dynamic range based on given five inputs. Actually, rows, cols, height and width can be input negative numbers.

**3**. **COUNT** function only returns count of numbers.

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