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Difference in months between two dates


Question

How to calculate the difference in months between two dates in C#?

Is there is equivalent of VB's DateDiff() method in C#. I need to find difference in months between two dates that are years apart. The documentation says that I can use TimeSpan like:

TimeSpan ts = date1 - date2;

but this gives me data in Days. I don't want to divide this number by 30 because not every month is 30 days and since the two operand values are quite apart from each other, I am afraid dividing by 30 might give me a wrong value.

Any suggestions?

2011/05/01
1
340
5/1/2011 10:24:26 PM

Accepted Answer

Assuming the day of the month is irrelevant (i.e. the diff between 2011.1.1 and 2010.12.31 is 1), with date1 > date2 giving a positive value and date2 > date1 a negative value

((date1.Year - date2.Year) * 12) + date1.Month - date2.Month

Or, assuming you want an approximate number of 'average months' between the two dates, the following should work for all but very huge date differences.

date1.Subtract(date2).Days / (365.25 / 12)

Note, if you were to use the latter solution then your unit tests should state the widest date range which your application is designed to work with and validate the results of the calculation accordingly.


Update (with thanks to Gary)

If using the 'average months' method, a slightly more accurate number to use for the 'average number of days per year' is 365.2425.

2017/09/03
469
9/3/2017 7:56:18 AM


You could do

if ( date1.AddMonths(x) > date2 )
2011/09/20

If you want the exact number of full months, always positive (2000-01-15, 2000-02-14 returns 0), considering a full month is when you reach the same day the next month (something like the age calculation)

public static int GetMonthsBetween(DateTime from, DateTime to)
{
    if (from > to) return GetMonthsBetween(to, from);

    var monthDiff = Math.Abs((to.Year * 12 + (to.Month - 1)) - (from.Year * 12 + (from.Month - 1)));

    if (from.AddMonths(monthDiff) > to || to.Day < from.Day)
    {
        return monthDiff - 1;
    }
    else
    {
        return monthDiff;
    }
}

Edit reason: the old code was not correct in some cases like :

new { From = new DateTime(1900, 8, 31), To = new DateTime(1901, 8, 30), Result = 11 },

Test cases I used to test the function:

var tests = new[]
{
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), To = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), Result = 0 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), To = new DateTime(1900, 1, 2), Result = 0 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 2), To = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), Result = 0 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), To = new DateTime(1900, 2, 1), Result = 1 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 2, 1), To = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), Result = 1 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 31), To = new DateTime(1900, 2, 1), Result = 0 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 8, 31), To = new DateTime(1900, 9, 30), Result = 0 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 8, 31), To = new DateTime(1900, 10, 1), Result = 1 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), To = new DateTime(1901, 1, 1), Result = 12 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 1, 1), To = new DateTime(1911, 1, 1), Result = 132 },
    new { From = new DateTime(1900, 8, 31), To = new DateTime(1901, 8, 30), Result = 11 },
};
2018/03/03

I checked the usage of this method in VB.NET via MSDN and it seems that it has a lot of usages. There is no such a built-in method in C#. (Even it's not a good idea) you can call VB's in C#.

  1. Add Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll to your project as a reference
  2. use Microsoft.VisualBasic.DateAndTime.DateDiff in your code
2011/01/09

To get difference in months (both start and end inclusive), irrespective of dates:

DateTime start = new DateTime(2013, 1, 1);
DateTime end = new DateTime(2014, 2, 1);
var diffMonths = (end.Month + end.Year * 12) - (start.Month + start.Year * 12);
2014/12/19

Use Noda Time:

LocalDate start = new LocalDate(2013, 1, 5);
LocalDate end = new LocalDate(2014, 6, 1);
Period period = Period.Between(start, end, PeriodUnits.Months);
Console.WriteLine(period.Months); // 16

(example source)

2017/05/23

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4638993
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