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How to Find the Percentage of a Number ?

Before getting to the point of how to find the percentage of a number, let’s see what the percentage is

Percentage is a one hundredth part. It is represented by the sign “%”. It is used to denote a proportion of anything relative to the whole. For example, 17% of 500 kg is 17 parts 5 kg each, i.e. 85 kg. The statement that 200% from 500 kg is 1000 kg is also true, as 1% of the 500 kg equals 5 kg, so [(1/100) x 500], and 5 x 200=1000.

Origin of Percentage

The idea of expression parts of the whole in the same proportions, caused by practical considerations, was born in ancient times by the Babylonians, who used sexagesimal fractions in the calculations. Already in Babylonian cuneiform tables there were assignments for interest calculations. There have been discovered several tables of percentages compiled by the Babylonians, which allowed to guess that at that time they already knew how to find the percentage of a number. Babylonians could quickly determine the amount of money they needed in interest. Percentages were also known in India. Indian mathematicians calculated interests by applying the so-called rule of three, e.g. using a proportion. They were able to make much more complex calculations using percentages as well.

In ancient Rome, Romans knew how to find the percentage of a number long before the existence of the decimal system. Their calculations were often made using fractions, which were factors multiple of 1/100. For example, Augustus imposed a tariff of 1/100 on goods that were sold at auction. It was known as Centesima Rerum Venalium (hundredth of sold items). The calculation using factors was similar to the calculation of interests. Even the Roman Senate was forced to establish a maximum percentage levied from the debtor, as some lenders were zealous in getting money from the interests. From Romans the use of percentages went to other nations.

In the Middle Ages in Europe because of the extensive development of trade a lot of attention was paid to the ability of how to find the percentage of a number. At that time, it was required to count not only percentages, but also percentages from the percentages, i.e. compound percentages, as they are called nowadays. Some offices and enterprises in order to facilitate the calculations developed their own special tables that were a commercial secret of the company.

For the first time, Simon Stevin (an engineer from the city of Bruges, the Netherlands) published a table for the calculation of interest in 1584. Stevin is known for a remarkable variety of scientific discoveries, including special recording of decimals.

Therefore, during the denomination of currency in the Middle Ages, calculations with the denominator 100 became more common. Thus, from the end of the fifteenth century until the beginning of the sixteenth century, this method of calculations has been widely used, judging by the contents of the studied materials containing arithmetic calculations. In many of these materials, this method was used to calculate the profit or loss, interest rates, as well as it was applied in rule of three. In the XVII century, this form of computing has become the standard for the representation of interest rates in hundredths.

In Russia, the concept of how to find the percentage of a number was first introduced by Peter I. But it is believed that these calculations have been applied in the troubling times. It was the result of the first in world history binding of stamped coins 1 to 100, when the ruble initially consisted of 10 pennies, and later of 100 cents.

Percent Sign

The symbol «%»has evolved from pc (per cento in Italian).

Before 1425, there were no any special characters to denote the percent symbol. People applied «per cento», or employed p with a horizontal line.

In the XV century, it was written like «pc» with a small circle at the end, indicating the final letter -o (because in the Italian language many various numerals have the ending of «o» – primo or secondo). The first applications of the percentage sign were discovered in the supplements to the text of 1425.

There is also another version of the origin of the sign. It is assumed that this sign was the result of a ridiculous typo made by a typesetter. In 1685 in Paris, a book was published, which was a guide on commercial arithmetic, where by mistake a typesetter typed %.


If you need to insert the percentage symbol in the text of your lab report format, you need to use it only with the numbers in digital form, from which during the typing the percentage symbol should be separated by a non-breaking space.

As we know from practice, percentages are usually used in order to show the change of a particular magnitude. This form is a clear numerical characteristic of changes characterizing the significance of the changes. For example, the level of youth crime has increased by 3%. This figure perhaps reflects only the natural level of fluctuations. However if it has increased by 30%, then it is a sign of the seriousness of the problem and the need to study the causes of this phenomenon and take appropriate measures.

How to Find the Percentage of a Number in a General Case?

Before we find out how to find the percentage of a number, we need to calculate the amount of this percentage. In order to do that, you need to divide the aggregate total by 100. The result will be exactly 1%.

After that, there are two options:

  • If you want to know the percentage of another amount of the original, you just need to divide it by the size of 1%, obtained earlier.
  • If you want to know the amount of total, which is, for example, 27.5% of the original, then you need to multiply the total of 1% by the required amount of interest (in this case 27.5%).

How to Find the Percentage of a Number Using the Proportions?

One more method of calculating the percentage of a number is the use of proportions. This method requires you to remember the knowledge of proportions taught at high school on the lessons of mathematics. For example, in your case study interview you need to calculate how many people support your argument. In this case, the method of proportions will help you easily find out the percentage of those people.

Suppose, you have an initial number of people – A, which is equal to 100%, and B is the amount, the ratio of which with A in percentage we need to get (the interest of people that support your argument). Thus there’ll be the following proportion:

A = 100

B = X (in this case X is the number of percentage).

According to the rules of calculating proportions, we obtain the following formula:

X = 100 x B/A

If you need to know how much the amount of B will be if a certain number of percentage of A amount is already known, the formula will look different:

B = 100 x X/A

Now you need to substitute the numbers in a formula with the known numbers and you will be able to calculate.

How to Find the Percentage of a Number Using the Known Correlations?

In addition, there is a simpler way that finds the answer on how to find the percentage of a number. It is enough to remember that 1% as a decimal is 0.01. Accordingly, 20% is 0.2; 48% is 0.48; 37.5% is 0.375, etc. It is enough to multiply the original amount on the corresponding number – and the result would be the rate of interest.

Moreover, sometimes you can use simple fractions in your mathematical paper or dissertation introduction on the math subject. For example, 10% equals to 0.1, that is, 1/10. Therefore, in order to know how much 10% equals to, you need to divide an initial sum by 10.

Other examples of such equations are:

  • 12.5% equals 1/8, that is, you need to divide by 8;
  • 20% equals 1/5, i.e. you need to divide by 5;
  • 25% equals 1/4, i.e., you need to divide by 4;
  • 50% equals 1/2, that is to be divided by half;
  • 75% equals 3/4, that is to be divided by 4 and multiplied by 3.

However, not all simple fractions are suitable for calculations of percentage. For example, 1/3 is close to 33%, but not exactly equal to 33%. 1/3 is a 33.(3)% (i.e., the fraction with endless threes after the decimal point).

How to Find the Percentage of a Number not Using a Calculator?

If it is required to find the percentage of a number without calculator, read on to see how to find the percentage of a number. If you need to abstract an unknown number of a certain percentage from the number that is already known, you can use the following methods:

  • Calculate an unknown number using one of the above mentioned methods, and then subtract it from the original.
  • Calculate the remaining amount right away. In order to do this, you need to abstract from 100% that number of percentage that is needed to be abstracted, and then you need to translate the result from the percentage into the number by using any of the methods described above.

The other option is more convenient. For example, you want to know how much it will be if you need to abstract 16% from 4779. The calculation will be the following:

  • Abstract 16 (the total amount of interest) from 100. The result is 84.
  • Calculate how much 84% is from 4779. The result is 4014.36.

How to Find the Percentage of a Number with a Calculator?

It is much easier to do all of the above mentioned calculations using a calculator. You can use any calculator, both as a separate device, and in the form of special software installed on a PC, smartphone, or usual cellphone (even the oldest versions of cellphones typically have this feature). With their help it is very easy to calculate the percentage of the amount. In order to do that, do the following:

  • Type in the initial amount.
  • Press the «-» symbol.
  • Input the interests you want to find.
  • Depress the symbol «%».
  • Depress the symbol «=«.

As a result, on the screen you will see the required number.

How to Find the Percentage of a Number with an Online Calculator?

In order to calculate the number of percentage in your english paper or math report you, you can also use an online calculator.

There are many websites on the internet where there is a function of online calculator. In this case, you don’t even require knowing how to find the percentage of a number. All operations are about inserting in the windows the necessary numbers (or the movement of the sliders to get them), after which the result is immediately displayed on the screen.

This function is especially useful for those who calculate not just an abstract percentage, but a specific amount of tax deduction or the amount of the state duty. In this case the calculations are more complicated, because you want to find not only the percentages, but also add to them a permanent part of the sum. Online calculator allows you to avoid these additional calculations. The main thing is to choose a website that uses data complying with the current law.

On our service you will be able to find more information on how to find the percentage of a number and many other mathematical issues. Also, there is a huge database of authors, from which you can pick an author for the implementation of your educational assignments. The authors will not only complete your paper, but will also explain to you how to make a thesis and execute it in the correct form.

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