In this Excel tutorial you will teach yourself when to use harmonic mean and how to calulate it in Excel.

## When to use harmonic mean?

This average is used when data values are expressed in relative units, e.g. speed unit (miles/ h) or salary per hour of work (USD / h).

The use of the harmonic mean gives equal weight to each data. Using the arithmetic mean in this case would give more weight to the higher-valued data, and thus the mean would be overstated.

## How to calculate harmonic average in Excel?

The calculation method is to use the reciprocal of the sum of n data as the denominator and n as the numerator to compute the ratio. To calculate harmonic mean in Excel use HARMEAN function.

Syntax is very simple:

HARMEAN(number1, [number2], ...)

The formula I used is **=HARMEAN(B2:B7)**

As you may notice harmonic mean is much lower than aritmetic mean.

The following harmonic average formula can be used to express the relationship of the three averages:

weighted average >= geometric average >= harmonic mean

### Errors you may encounter

- #NUM! - The most likely reason is that one of your values is less than 0
- #VALUE! - one of the arguments is not a number. Check the data type