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Changing a Fraction to Percent

Converting a fraction to percent is a change of numeric form. Percents, fractions and decimals are mathematical equivalents.

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There are fractions that are used often. They are used for measuring size, volume and weight measurement. They are convenient because they divide 1 into equal portions. Their decimal equivalents also divide 1 into equal portions:

Fraction

Decimal

Percent

1/10

0.1

10%

1/8

0.125

12.50%

1/6

0.166

16.67%

1/5

0.2

20.00%

1/4

0.25

25%

1/3

0.333

33.30%

1/2

0.5

50%

The symbol “%” tells us the number is a percent.

Once a fraction has been converted to a decimal it can be converted to a percent by multiplying the decimal number by 100.

Because percent and fraction are equivalents the manner we use them is mixed. You will often hear someone say 33.3% as 33 1/3% or as one third, or 12.5% as 12 1/2% or as “twelve point five”.

The formula to change a fraction to a percent is given as:

M

N

=

X

100

Where N and M are the numerator and the denominator of a fraction we want to convert to a percent, and X, once known, is the percent value.

To solve for X, the percent, we multiply each side of the equation by 100:

M

N (100)

=

X

As an example let’s convert the fraction ¼ to a percent::

4

1 (100)

=

25%

4

100

=

(The value of the numerator and denominator makes no difference, the conversion to a percent works for all fractions.)

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