How to Do Percent Increases in Excel


While you don't need a computer or even a calculator to tell if one number is bigger than another, programs like Excel can reveal insights not obvious from looking just at raw figures. For example, suppose your salary increased from $25,000 to $27,000 per year. You can use Excel to analyze the two amounts and see if the percent increase was actually enough to keep pace with inflation.

  • Launch Excel.

  • Type the original value into an empty cell and the final, larger value into another cell. For example, if the original value was 25000 and the larger value was 27000, type "25000" in cell A2 and 27000 in cell B2.

  • Type the formula to calculate the numeric difference between the two amounts into an empty cell. For example, type "=B2-A2" in cell C2.

  • Type the formula to calculate the percentage difference between larger value and the original value into an empty cell. This formula will divide the difference by the initial, smaller number. For instance, type "=C2/A2" into cell E2, then press "Enter."

  • Select the cell with the percent difference, select the "Home" tab, the "Number Format" button, then select 'Percentage." This format will multiply the percent difference by 100, then attach the "%" symbol to the result.

Tips & Warnings

  • Calculate the percent increase between two numbers quickly without cell references by subtracting the smaller number from the larger number, multiplying this by “100,” then dividing the result by the smaller number. For instance, if your salary increased from $25,000 to $28,000, type in "=(28000-25000)*100/25000" into an empty cell, then pressing "Enter."

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