To **count cells that contain values less than a given number** in a range, use the generic formula based on the COUNTIF function.

Generic **Excel Formula** to count the number of cells with values less than a given number:

`=COUNTIF(range, "<number")`

In the picture above, “**range**” is the range of cells that contains numbers, and “**number**” is the threshold value. We want to count cells if the cell contains less than the given number.

The result is 2, and we will explain why.

## How to count cells less than a given number

The **COUNTIF** function uses two required arguments; **range** and **criteria**.

`=COUNTIF(range, criteria)`

**Set up the arguments** for the COUNTIF formula:

- range:
**C3:C8** - criteria:
**“<120”**

The numbers we want to test using the criteria using range C3:C8. So to count cells less than 120, the COUNTIF formula looks like this:

`=COUNTIF(C3:C8,"<120")`

**Note: **Take a look at cell C4, which contains 120. The logical test, in this case, is FALSE. In the example, we use the “less than” (**<**) operator instead of the “less than equal to” (**=<**) operator. Small but important difference!

**The proper syntax is critical in Excel** (not just in Excel).

Don’t forget to insert a quote before and after the criteria. The **logical operator** (**<**) is joined with a numeric value (120) and supplied as text.

The formula returns 2, so we have two cells that are less than 120.

### Greater than or equal to – COUNTIF

We use the list mentioned above in the first example. Now, use the “**greater than or equal to**” operator (**>=**) to count cells in the range.

**Formula to count cells greater than or equal to 120:**

`=COUNTIF(C3:C8,">=120")`

As you see, 4 cells met the criteria.