How to Calculate a Percentage of a Whole

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A percentage figure represents the number of parts per one hundred a portion amount corresponds to. For example, "75 percent" is another way of saying "75 parts per 100." To calculate a percentage, the whole amount must be known, in addition to the percentage or portion amount. The question may be "what percentage of W is P," where W is the whole amount and P is the portion amount. Or the question may be "how much is X percent of W," where X represents a percentage figure.

Whole Number and Portion Amount Known

  • Write down the whole number amount.

    For example: 500.

  • Write down the portion number amount as a numerator over the whole number amount.

    For example: 120 / 500.

  • Calculate the equation. The result is the decimal equivalent of the percentage.

    For example: 120 / 500 = 0.24.

  • Multiply the decimal equivalent of the percentage by 100; or move the number's decimal point over two places to the right. The result is the percentage amount.

    For example: 0.24 * 100 = 24 (Therefore in answer to the question "120 is what percent of 500," it is learned that 120 is 24 percent of 500).

Whole Number and Percentage Known

  • Write down the percentage amount.

    For example: 24 percent.

  • Divide the percentage amount by 100, or move the number's decimal point over two places to the left, to convert it to its decimal equivalent.

    For example: 24 / 100 = 0.24.

  • Write down the whole number amount.

    For example: 500.

  • Multiply the whole number amount by the decimal equivalent of the percentage. The result is the percentage portion amount.

    For example: 500 * 0.24 = 120 (Therefore in answer to the question "How much is 24 percent of 500", it is learned that 24 percent of 500 is 120).

Whole Number Amount and Percentage Known

  • Enter the whole number amount in the calculator.

    For example: enter 500.

  • Press the times key.

  • Enter the percentage amount.

    For example: enter 24.

  • Press the percent key. The result is the percentage portion amount (should be 120).

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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