How do I Calculate the Geometric Mean on an HP 12C?

••• Calculator image by Alhazm Salemi from

In statistics, the geometric mean defines a specifically calculated average value of the set of “N” numbers. The geometric mean is the “N”-th root of the product (N1 x N2 x …Nn) of “N” numbers in the set. For example, if the set comprises two numbers, such as 2 and 50, then the geometric mean is 10 because the square root of 100 (the product of 2 multiplied by 50) is 10. The HP 12C is a model of Hewlett-Packard financial calculators. While the HP 12C calculator does not have the built-in function to calculate the geometric mean, it allows you to make the required calculation in a few easy steps.

    Enter the first number of the set into your HP 12C calculator and press the “Enter” key.

    Enter the second number and press the “X” key to multiply the two numbers. Continue this step until you multiply all numbers in the set. For example, if the set comprises three numbers -- 5.3, 16 and 57.9 -- then multiply 5.3 times 16 times 57.9 to get 4909.92.

    Enter the size of your set. For example, if you multiplied three numbers then enter “3.”

    Press the “1/x” key.

    Press the “y^x” key to calculate the geometric mean for your set. In this example, the geometric mean is 16.996.


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Oxana Fox is a freelance writer specializing in medicine and treatment, computer software and hardware, digital photography and financial services. She graduated from Moscow Medical College in 1988 with formal training in pediatrics.

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