Harmonic Mean in R (2 Examples)


This page shows how to compute the harmonic mean in the R programming language.

I will show based on two reproducible examples how to calculate the harmonic mean for a numeric vector or a data frame column.

You are here for the answer, so let’s dig in!


Example 1: Compute Harmonic Mean of Vector in R

In the first example, I’ll explain how to calculate the harmonic mean of a numeric vector. So let’s create such a numeric vector first:

x <- c(10, 14, 29, 30, 41, 53, 27, 55)  # Create example vector

In order to get the harmonic mean of this vector, we need to install and load the psych add-on package:

install.packages("psych")               # Install psych package
library("psych")                        # Load psych package

Now, we can apply the harmonic.mean function of the psych package to compute the harmonic mean of our example vector:

harmonic.mean(x)                        # Apply harmonic.mean function
# 23.68814

As you can see based on the RStudio console output, the harmonic mean of our example vector is 23.68814.

Note: The harmonic.mean command could also be applied to data with NA values (i.e. missing values). By default, such values are removed before processing.


Example 2: Harmonic Mean of Data Frame Column

In the second example, we will apply the harmonic.mean R function of the psych package to some real data, i.e. the Iris Flower data set. We can load the data as follows:

data(iris)                              # Load iris data
head(iris)                              # First rows of iris data


nrow function in R - Iris Example Data Frame

Table 1: The First Six Rows of the Iris Flower Data Matrix.


Now, we use the harmonic.mean to compute, for instance, the harmonic mean of the first data frame column:

harmonic.mean(iris$Sepal.Length)        # Apply harmonic.mean to column
# 5.728905

The harmonic mean of the first column is 5.728905.


Video, Further Resources & Summary

If you still have questions concerning the method I used in this tutorial, feel free to watch the video on my YouTube channel, where I describe the syntax more detailed:



After reading this article, you should be able to calculate harmonic means in R. However, we didn’t speak about the theoretical research concept of the harmonic mean yet. In case you want to learn more about the statistical concept behind the harmonic mean, you could have a look at the following YouTube video of zedstatistics. The speaker explains the concept of the harmonic mean and compares it with other measures, which compute the average, such as the arithmetic mean or the geometric mean.



Furthermore, you might have a look at some of the other R programming tutorials that I have published on statisticsglobe.com:

This is all I wanted to show you in this tutorial. However, in case you have any questions or comments please let me know in the comments section below.


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