What is a good R-Squared value? (simply explained)

R-Squared is a metric used in machine learning and statistics, but it can be confusing to know what a good value is. In this post, I explain what R-Squared is, how to calculate it, and what a good value actually is.

What is R-Squared in machine learning?

R-Squared is a metric for assessing the performance of regression machine learning models. Unlike other metrics, such as MAE or RMSE, it is not a measure of how accurate the predictions are, but instead a measure of fit. R-Squared measures how much of the dependent variable variation is explained by the independent variables in the model.

R-Squared mathematical formula

The formula for calculating R-Squared is as follows:

mathematical formula for r-squared (r2)

What is the difference between R-Squared and R2?

R2 score and R-Squared are the same metrics, but the naming difference arises from the popular Python package scikit-learn. This package, which is commonly used for metrics by developers, has a function called r2_score which calculates the R-Squared value.

How do I calculate R-Squared in Python?

R-Squared, or R2 score, is straightforward to implement in Python by using the scikit-learn package. Below you will find a simple example:

from sklearn.metrics import r2_score

y_true = [12, -5, 4, 1]
y_pred = [11.5, -1, 5.5, 0]

r_squared = r2_score(y_true, y_pred)

What is a good R-Squared value?

R-Squared is a measure of fit where the value ranges from 1, where all variance is explained, to 0 where none of the variance is explained. Of course, how good a score is will be dependent upon your use case, but in general R-Squared values would be interpreted as:

R-Squared value Interpretation
0.75 - 1 Significant amount of variance explained
0.5 - 0.75 Good amount of variance explained
0.25 - 0.5 Small amount of variance explained
0 - 0.25 Little to no variance explained

Can R-Squared values be compared across models?

R-Squared cannot be used to compare models from different datasets as the variance found in one dataset is not comparable with others.

Is a higher R-squared value good?

The higher the R-Squared value the better. Higher values imply that more of the variation in the dependent variable is explained by the independent variables in the regression model.

What is a low R-squared?

The lowest R-Squared value is 0 (although it can also be negative too), but a low R-Squared value is often considered to be anything below 0.25 which would indicate little to no variation is explained by the independent variables.

What does it mean if R-squared is 1?

If the R-Squared value is 1 then this indicates that all the variation of the dependent variable is explained by the independent variables. In real-world use cases, it is incredibly rare to achieve a value of 1.

Is an R-squared value of 0.5 good?

Whether or not a score is good depends on the use case, but in general, an R-Squared value of 0.5 would be seen as OK. This would indicate that half of the dependent variable variance is explained by the model’s independent variables.

What R-Squared value is considered a strong correlation?

An R-squared value of above 0.75 would be considered a strong correlation for most use cases.

Regression metrics

What is a good MSE value?
What is a good MAPE score?
What is MDAPE?
Interpret R Squared

Metric calculators

R squared calculator
Coefficient of determination calculator


R2 scikit-learn documentation

Stephen Allwright

Stephen Allwright

I'm a Data Scientist currently working for Oda, an online grocery retailer, in Oslo, Norway. These posts are my way of sharing some of the tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.
Oslo, Norway