How to Calculate Deciles in Google Sheets (With Examples)


In statistics, deciles are numbers that split a dataset into ten groups of equal frequency.

The first decile is the point where 10% of all data values lie below it.

The second decile is the point where 20% of all data values lie below it.

The third decile is the point where 30% of all data values lie below it.

And so on.

We can use the following function to calculate the deciles for a dataset in Google Sheets:

=PERCENTILE(CELL RANGE, PERCENTILE)

For example, we would use the following formula to calculate the value of the third decile for a dataset in the range A1:A50:

=PERCENTILE(A1:A50, 0.3)

The following example shows how to use this function in practice.

Example: Calculate Deciles in Google Sheets

Suppose we have the following dataset with 20 values:

The following image shows how to calculate the deciles for the dataset:

deciles in Google Sheets

Here is how to interpret each decile value:

  • 10% of all data values lie below 63.4.
  • 20% of all data values lie below 67.8.
  • 30% of all data values lie below 76.5.

And so on.

To place each data value into a decile, we can use the PERCENTRANK.EXC() function, which uses the following syntax:

=PERCENTRANK.EXC(CELL RANGE, DATA VALUE, SIGNIFICANCE)

The following image shows how to use this function for our dataset:

Note that this function finds the relative rank of a value in a dataset as a percentage and rounds to one digit, which is equivalent to finding the decile that the value falls in.

The way to interpret the output is as follows:

  • The data value 58 falls between the percentile 0 and 0.1, thus it falls in the first decile.
  • The data value 64 falls between the percentile 0.1 and 0.2, thus it falls in the second decile.
  • The data value 67 falls between the percentile 0.1 and 0.2, thus it falls in the second decile.
  • The data value 68 falls between the percentile 0.2 and 0.3, thus it falls in the third decile.

And so on.

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Google Sheets:

How to Calculate Percent Change in Google Sheets
How to Calculate Cumulative Percentage in Google Sheets
How to Calculate Frequencies in Google Sheets

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