What Are Some Examples of Unit Rate Word Problems?

One example of a unit rate word problem is, “If Sam jogs 10 miles in 2 hours, how many miles does he jog in 1 hour?” Another is, “Leah bought 3/4 pound of candy for $1.80. How much does 1 pound of candy cost?” A third example is, “It takes 30 minutes for five people to paint five walls. How long does it take 10 people to paint 10 walls?”

A unit rate is a ratio that compares two unlike quantities and has a denominator of 1. For example, 60 miles per hour is a unit rate because it compares miles and hours and uses 1 hour as the denominator, as in 60 miles/1 hour. Usually, a unit rate word problem presents a ratio that doesn’t have a denominator of 1 and requires the person solving the problem to simplify the ratio so that it does. A typical example involves speed and distances. This can be seen in the sample problem, “When Mario rides his bike to the next town, which is 30 miles from his house, it takes him 3 hours. How fast is Mario bicycling?” If Mario can go 30 miles in 3 hours, he can go 10 miles in 1 hour, which is his speed, or unit rate.