# Can you have a negative variance?

### Table of Contents

- Can you have a negative variance?
- Is a negative variance good or bad?
- How do you interpret variance results?
- What is a negative variance estimate?
- Why the variance is never negative?
- Is it possible to Have a negative standard deviation or variance?
- What does negative schedule variance mean?
- Can a random variable have a negative variance?
- What does variance tell you about a data set?
- How do you interpret the mean and variance?
- What does it mean when you have a negative variance?
- What does a positive variance in net income mean?
- How to calculate unfavorable variance in a budget?
- Why do you need to do a variance analysis?

### Can you have a negative variance?

Every variance that isn't zero is a positive number. **A variance cannot be negative**. That's because it's mathematically impossible since you can't have a negative value resulting from a square.

### Is a negative variance good or bad?

A favorable budget variance refers to positive variances or gains; an **unfavorable budget variance describes negative variance**, indicating losses or shortfalls. Budget variances occur because forecasters are unable to predict future costs and revenue with complete accuracy.

### How do you interpret variance results?

All non-zero variances are positive. A small variance indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the mean, and to each other. A high variance indicates that the data points are very spread out from the mean, and from one another. Variance is the average of the squared distances from each point to the mean.

### What is a negative variance estimate?

Under some statistical models for variance components analysis, negative estimates are **an indication that observations in your data are negatively correlated**.

### Why the variance is never negative?

An important property of the mean is that the sum of all deviations from the mean is always equal to zero.. This is because, the negative and positive deviations cancel out each other. hence, **to get positive values, the deviations are squared**. This is the reason why, the variance can never be negative.

### Is it possible to Have a negative standard deviation or variance?

To conclude, the smallest possible value standard deviation can reach is zero. As soon as you have at least two numbers in the data set which are not exactly equal to one another, standard deviation has to be greater than zero – positive. **Under no circumstances can standard deviation be negative**.

### What does negative schedule variance mean?

Negative: A negative schedule variance means **less work is complete than planned, so your project is behind schedule**. Zero: All planned work has been completed, so your project is right on schedule.

### Can a random variable have a negative variance?

Note that **the variance cannot be negative**, because it is an average of squared quantities. This is appropriate, as a negative spread for a distribution does not make sense. Hence, var(X)≥0 and sd(X)≥0 always.

### What does variance tell you about a data set?

Variance tells you **the degree of spread in your data set**. The more spread the data, the larger the variance is in relation to the mean.

### How do you interpret the mean and variance?

The variance is the average of the squared differences from the mean. To figure out the variance, first **calculate the difference between each point and the mean; then, square and average the results**. For example, if a group of numbers ranges from 1 to 10, it will have a mean of 5.5.

### What does it mean when you have a negative variance?

Negative variances are the unfavorable differences between two amounts, such as: The amount by which actual revenues were less than the budgeted revenues. The amount by which actual expenses were greater than the budgeted expenses.

### What does a positive variance in net income mean?

The amount is a positive or favorable variance because the actual expenses of $20,800 are less than the budgeted expenses of $22,000. The difference of $1,200 is favorable for the company's profitability. Net income variance: ($300).

### How to calculate unfavorable variance in a budget?

4 Questions to Ask When You Have Unfavorable Variance You can calculate your budget variances by subtracting the budgeted amount from the actual expenses. Then divide that number by the original budgeted amount and multiply by 100 to get the percentage of your variance.

### Why do you need to do a variance analysis?

Understanding where the variance took place in your budget can help you keep track of your business tracking and accounting. A budget analysis will help you consider these discrepancies in future accounting. When conducting variance analysis consider your actual revenue and/or costs versus your budgeted figures.