Statistics: Max and Min


Calculating the maximum (largest) and minimum (smallest) of a dataset are basic mathematical calculations that give you broad information about the data you are working with; i.e. the largest and smallest values in the data. These operations are part of what is known in data analysis as Summary Statistics.


Use the formula =MAX(number1:number2) to calculate the largest number and, =MIN(number1:number2) to calculate the smallest number of a range of values.

You can also calculate the 2nd, 3rd, etc. numbers in a range of data. To calculate the second smallest number use the formula =SMALL(number1:number2, 2), and to calculate the third largest number, use the formula =LARGE(number1:number2, 3).


Practice using the MAX and MIN functions by answering the questions below in the highlighted cells.

  1. Find the country with the maximum birth rate (column F) and the country with the minimum birth rate.

    Max: Niger (46.079)
    Min: Moldova (5.9)


Learning these formulas is a great first step in learning more about the data you are analyzing. You should also check out Mean, Median, and Mode, other summary statistic measures to build upon your Excel knowledge.