What Is the Way to Figure Out a Percentage?


Quick Answer

To figure out a percentage, a person simply divides the two numbers in question then multiplies the answer by 100. In most cases, a small number is divided by a large number. Depending on the circumstance, however, the process may be reversed.

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Full Answer

When there is a question of finding a percentage, it is usually formed in the manner like the following: "If 10 out of 200 apples were spoiled, what percentage of them was bad?" Simple division helps a person find this answer.

Step 1: Set up the ratio and divide

Using the example, the total number of apples is the denominator, or the number on the bottom. The number of spoiled apples is the numerator, or the number on top. The fraction looks like 10/200. Divide the denominator into the numerator. The answer will be in the form of a decimal, which is 0.05.

Step 2: Multiply the answer obtained by 100

Since fractions are based on multiples of 100, the decimal answer from the division problem in the first step must be multiplied by 100. This gives the answer in proper percentage form. Using the given example, this step looks like 0.05 x 100 = 5. Therefore, 5 percent of the apples were spoiled.

Instead of multiplying by 100, there is a shortcut a person can take. Simply move the decimal two places to the right. This also gives the answer in proper percentage form.

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