How can a person calculate a percentage?


Quick Answer

To calculate a percentage, simply divide one number into the other and multiply by 100. The order of division is important, and is determined by the wording of the question.

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Full Answer

There are just a few simple steps to follow in order to calculate the percentage relationship between two numbers.

Step 1: Write the numbers as an equation

To ensure the numbers are divided correctly, write them as an equation or a ratio. Usually the first number mentioned is the numerator, or the number on the top of the fraction. The second number is the denominator, the number on the bottom. For example, in the question "15 is what percent of 150?", the correct fraction is 15/150.

Step 2: Divide the numbers

Once the fraction or ratio has been determined, divide the denominator into the numerator. For the example in Step 1, the answer is 0.1.

Step 3: Convert the answer to a percent

To get the correct percent answer, the result from the division problem needs to be multiplied by 100. Using the problem from Step 1, the answer is 10 percent (0.1 x 100 = 10).

A simple multiplication problem is used to check the accuracy of the answer. Multiply the answer from the division problem by the denominator in the fraction. The answer should be the numerator. Using the problem from Step 1, this equation would be 0.1 x 150 = 15.

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