How to Use Min and Max Functions in R (With Examples)


You can use the min() and max() functions in R to quickly calculate the minimum and maximum values in a vector.

#find minimum value
min(x)

#find maximum value
max(x)

The following examples show how to use these functions in practice.

Example 1: Max & Min of Vector

The following code shows how to find the minimum and maximum values of a vector:

#define vector
x <- c(2, 3, 4, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 22, 28, 31, 34)

#find minimum value
min(x)

[1] 2
#find maximum value
max(x)

[1] 34

Note that if you have missing values in the vector, you must specify na.rm=TRUE to ignore missing values when calculating the minimum and maximum:

#define vector with some missing values
x <- c(2, 3, 4, 4, NA, 12, NA, 19, 22, 28, 31, 34)

#find minimum value
min(x, na.rm=TRUE)

[1] 2

#find maximum value
max(x, na.rm=TRUE)

[1] 34

Example 2: Max & Min of Entire Data Frame

The following code shows how to find the minimum and maximum values of an entire data frame:

#define data frame
df <- data.frame(a=c(1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9),
                 b=c(7, 8, 8, 7, 13, 16),
                 c=c(11, 13, 13, 18, 19, 22),
                 d=c(12, 16, 18, 22, 29, 38))

#find minimum value
min(df)

[1] 1

#find maximum value
max(df)

[1] 38

Example 3: Max & Min of Column in Data Frame

The following code shows how to find the minimum and maximum values of a specific column in a data frame:

#define data frame
df <- data.frame(a=c(1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9),
                 b=c(7, 8, 8, 7, 13, 16),
                 c=c(11, 13, 13, 18, 19, 22),
                 d=c(12, 16, 18, 22, 29, 38))

#find minimum value of column c
min(df$c)

[1] 11

#find maximum value of column c
max(df$c)

[1] 22

Example 4: Max & Min of Several Columns in Data Frame

The following code shows how to find the minimum and maximum values of several columns in a data frame:

#define data frame
df <- data.frame(a=c(1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9),
                 b=c(7, 8, 8, 7, 13, 16),
                 c=c(11, 13, 13, 18, 19, 22),
                 d=c(12, 16, 18, 22, 29, 38))

#find minimum value in columns a, b, and d
apply(df[ , c('a', 'b', 'd')], 2, min)

 a  b  d 
 1  7 12 

#find maximum value in columns a, b, and d
apply(df[ , c('a', 'b', 'd')], 2, max)

 a  b  d 
 9 16 38 

Additional Resources

How to Calculate Standard Deviation in R
How to Calculate the Range in R
How to Loop Through Column Names in R

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