The COUNT function counts the numeric values in a data set. When all inputs to the function are numbers, it produces the same result as the COUNTA function. However, when the inputs are text or boolean values, the COUNTA function acts differently than COUNT. Get your copy of the template used in this tutorial to follow along.

Contents

## Purpose

The COUNT function returns the number of numerical values in a data set.

## Syntax

`=COUNT(value1, [value2, ...])`

`value1`

– The first number or range to consider while counting.`value2, …`

– [OPTIONAL] Additional numbers to consider.

## Video Explanation

## Similar Functions

COUNT – Count the numeric values in a data set

COUNTA – Count the non-blank values in a data set

COUNTIF – Count the cells that match a criterion

COUNTIFS – Count the cells that match multiple criteria

COUNTUNIQUE – Count the unique values

COUNTUNIQUEIFS – Count the unique values that meet multiple criteria

COUNTBLANK – Count the blank cells

## Examples

### Example 1 – Counting Numbers

The four numerical values in the range of `A2`

to `A5`

are counted and the formula returns the number `4`

. Counting numbers is the most straightforward use of the function.

### Example 2 – Counting Blanks vs. Counting Zeroes

The COUNT function treats blanks differently from zeroes as we move into the following example. Blank cells, such as those in `A4`

and `A5`

are not counted, but a cells with `0`

s like `B4`

and `B5`

are counted as number values.

While `0`

is a number, you may not intend to count it. If you only want to capture numbers greater than zero, you may consider using a formula such as `=COUNTIF(B2:B5,">0")`

. Read about the COUNTIF function here.

What if we had a mix of text and numbers?

### Example 3 – Count Text and Numbers

The COUNT function only sees one number, the `7`

in `A5`

, in the range `A2:A5`

. As shown in the previous example, the function does not count the blank cell in `A3`

. Also, the function ignores the text values of `Nice day`

in `A2`

and `5 stars`

in cell `A4`

as they are both text strings instead of numbers. The text value `5 stars`

*contains* the number `5`

, but having the text `stars`

after the `5`

converts the value to text.

If you want to find the amount of text *and* number values while ignoring the blanks, consider the COUNTA function.

### Example 4 – Counting Dates

Now let’s move on to dates. Remember, spreadsheets treat dates the same as numbers in a spreadsheet.

The trick with dates is that they need to be valid to be considered a number. In the example above, Google Sheets adds 1 for each date in `A3:A5`

but it does not recognize `Feb 20th`

in cell `A2`

as a valid date. You can tell because `Feb 20th`

is left-aligned, which is how spreadsheets show text values. Also, for a spreadsheet to treat a date as a number, it must have a year.

Numbers and text are relatively common in spreadsheets, but you can also have boolean values.

### Example 5 – Count Boolean Values

Boolean values only have two options – TRUE or FALSE.

The COUNT function is not adding any of the values in cells `A2:A5`

. So, boolean values just aren’t counted, right? Not so fast. The COUNT function disregards them if they are in cells referenced by the COUNT function but counts them if they are input directly into the function.

It makes no sense, right? Fortunately, values are typically referenced instead of input directly into a function.

### Live Examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for examples of the COUNT functions shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

## Notes

- COUNT ignores blank cells.
- The COUNT function counts text as 0.
- Consider using the SUBTOTAL function if you have multiple counts in one column.