The **coefficient of variation** is a way to measure how spread out values are in a dataset relative to the mean. It is calculated as:

**Coefficient of variation** = σ / μ

where:

**σ** = standard deviation of dataset

**μ** = mean of dataset

This tutorial explains how to calculate the coefficient of variation for a dataset in SPSS

**Example: Coefficient of Variation in SPSS**

Suppose we have the following dataset that displays the annual income (in thousands) for 15 individuals:

Use the following steps to calculate the coefficient of variation for this dataset in SPSS:

**Step 1: Create a column of 1’s.**

First, we need to create a column of all 1’s next to the original dataset:

**Step 2: Calculate the coefficient of variation.**

Next, click the **Analyze **tab, then **Descriptive Statistics**, then **Ratio**:

In the new window that pops up, drag the variable **income **into the box labelled Numerator and drag the variable **one **into the box labelled Denominator:

Next, click **Statistics**. Make sure the boxes are checked next to **Mean**, **Standard deviation**, and **Mean Centered COV**. Then click **Continue**.

Lastly, click **OK**.

**Step 3: Interpret the coefficient of variation.**

Once you click **OK**, the coefficient of variation for this dataset will be displayed:

We can see that the coefficient of variation for this dataset is **49.3%**. This was calculated using the following formula:

CV = σ / μ * 100 = (29.060/58.933) * 100 = **49.3%**.