Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Ages in Years and Months.

Ages in Years and Months

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 16, 2019)

5

Many times, in early childhood education, a child's age in Years.Months format is needed for reporting, admitting, and evaluation. Basically, this format shows the number of elapsed years and months since birth, separated by a period.

There are several ways you can go about getting the desired age. The formula you choose to do the work depends, quite literally, on your preference in formulas.

Assuming that you have the birth date in cell A1, you might think you could use some math on the date to determine the proper information. For instance, you might think that you could use this formula:

=NOW() - A1

This produces a value that is the difference between the two dates, but if you then apply a custom format ("yy.mm") to the result, you'll find out that it doesn't give the sought-after Years.Months. You get something close; the years are right, but the months vary from 1 to 12 when they should vary from 0 to 11. (Somebody can be 12 years and 0 months old, but it is not proper to say 12 years and 12 months old.)

This means that you need to start casting about for a formulaic approach. A simple formula would be the following:

=YEAR(NOW())-YEAR(A1) & "." & MONTH(NOW())-MONTH(A1)

There are many variations on the above, but the problem is that they all only look at the month of today compared to the month of the birthdate; they don't take the day of the month into account. What is that important? Because the number of elapsed months since birth is dependent on how the day of the birth month compares to the day of the present month, and the formula doesn't allow for that distinction.

So, you might consider a more complex formula that actually tries to calculate elapsed years and months, such as the following one:

=TEXT(INT((NOW()-A1)/365.25),"##0")&"."&TEXT(INT(MOD(NOW()-A1,365.25)/31),"00")

This comes much closer to what is needed, but it is still possible to be off by a day or two right around the time of the month when the birth day is approached. Closer still is a formula which uses the YEARFRAC function:

=ROUNDDOWN(YEARFRAC(A1,TODAY()),0)&"."&ROUNDDOWN((YEARFRAC(A1,TODAY())-ROUNDDOWN(YEARFRAC(A1,TODAY()),0))*12,0)

The best (and simplest) formulaic approach, however, is this one:

=DATEDIF(A1,NOW(),"y") & "." & DATEDIF(A1,NOW(),"ym")

The formula relies on the DATEDIF function, which determines the difference between two dates. The value returned by the function depends on the third parameter passed to the function. In this case, the first invocation of DATEDIF returns the number of elapsed years and the second returns the number of elapsed months. It provides the most accurate results of any of the formulas discussed so far.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9148) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Ages in Years and Months.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is six more than 6?

2021-08-03 10:46:08

J. Woolley

You can also use the TimeDif(Start, Finish, [Approximate], [Conversational]) function in My Excel Toolbox. For Peter Atherton's example:

=TimeDif(C1,C2,FALSE,FALSE) gives the following result:
23 yr 09 mth 25 day 00 hr 00 min 00 sec

=TimeDif(C1,C2,FALSE,TRUE) gives the following result:
23 years 9 months and 25 days

=TimeDif(C1,C2,TRUE,FALSE) gives the following result:
almost 24 years

And if C2 is replaced by the following formula:
=DATE(2021,7,26)+NOW()-TODAY(), then at 10:35:05 am
=TimeDif(C1,C2,FALSE,FALSE) gives the following result:
23 yr 09 mth 25 day 10 hr 35 min 05 sec

See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/


2021-08-03 00:09:05

Peter

The Datedif() function looks like it could be useful. Thanks for alerting me.
I would not have found it otherwise, since it does not appear in the list of functions on the "Insert Function" dialog.


2021-07-28 16:07:07

Peter Atherton

Peter

How about this?

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


2021-07-26 07:59:06

Peter Molnar

Hi, thanks for the formula to calculate kids' ages in years and months. So handy for a school teacher! Only question I have is how can I modify it to calculate a student's age in years and months as at a future date? for example today is July 26th, 2021 and I need the calculation date to be for argument's sake October 9? I don't want to have to manually scrutinise my spreadsheet and adjust individually. What would the correct syntax be for that formula?


2020-10-19 13:00:33

Andre Basson

Hi Allen
Just used your "Ages in Years and Months" solution and it worked (as is normally the case with your solutions), but not if the birthday is on the last day of the month (or presumably later than the 28th. Used it in retirement planning and mine is on the 31st August. Answer was correct on months wit 31 days but one month short on all the others. Changing the birthdate to the 28 fixed it. Not seriou, but thiught you may know how to fix it without having to go to too much trouble.
Regards
A


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