Using the WEEKNUM Function

One of the handy date and time functions provided by Excel is WEEKNUM. This function is used, oddly enough, to return the week number represented by a particular date. You use the function in this way:


In this instance, A5 contains a date serial number, and the value 1 indicates that WEEKNUM should assume that all weeks start on a Sunday. If you prefer your weeks to begin on Mondays, then you can use the value 2 instead.

You should realize that WEEKNUM always considers the first day of any given year to be in the first week of the year. Thus, it is possible for the above formula to return up to 54 weeks in a year. How can this be? Let’s use the year 2011 as an example. In 2011 January 1 falls on a Saturday. As far as WEEKNUM is concerned, this is in the first week of the year. Now, January 2 for that year falls on a Sunday. Since WEEKNUM believes that every Sunday starts a new week, the second day of the week is considered in the second week of the year.

This is fine, until you get to the end of the year. The fifty-second week of 2011 ends (according to WEEKNUM) on December 24, and the fifty-third week begins on December 25 (a Sunday).

An even more interesting scenario is when the year begins on a Saturday and the year is a leap year. This happened in the year 2000. In that instance, the fifty-third week began on December 24, and the fifty-fourth week began on December 31.