Who Invented Percentages?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 29, 2020 4:53:44 PM ET
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No one person invented percentages. The concept developed throughout history. In Ancient Rome mathematical computation were expressed in fractions of 100. This concept later evolved into percentages.

The word percent comes from the Latin phrase per centum, and it means "for each hundred." According to Cut the Knot, in 17th century Europe, the symbol o o was often used as an abbreviation for percent. This ancient symbol has evolved into the % symbol, which is commonly used today. For instance, 1 percent can be written as 1%, and it is the same as the fraction 1/100. Ten percent can be written as 10%, which is the same as the fraction 10/100. Likewise, a penny is 1 percent of a dollar, and a dime is 10 percent of a dollar.