a green wall with a white sign that says 100 %

How Do I Figure Out a Percentage of a Number?

Understanding how to calculate a percentage of a number is an essential skill that can simplify both everyday decisions and complex numerical tasks. Whether you’re working out discounts while shopping, analysing data, or just curious about statistics, mastering this skill can come in very handy.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the process of figuring out a percentage of a number, ensuring you can apply this knowledge in various scenarios.

What is a Percentage?

At its core, a percentage is a way of expressing a number as a fraction of 100. The term comes from the Latin ‘per centum’, meaning ‘by the hundred’. Essentially, it’s a ratio that compares a number to 100, making it easier to understand proportions and ratios in a universally recognisable format.

The Basic Formula

To figure out a percentage of a number, you can use a simple formula:

Percentage Value=(Percentage/100)×Total Number

This formula is straightforward and serves as the cornerstone for calculating percentages. Let’s break it down with an example to ensure clarity.

Practical Example

Imagine you want to find out what 20% of 250 is. Using the formula:

  1. Convert the percentage to a decimal by dividing by 100: 20/100=0.2
  2. Multiply this decimal by the total number: 0.2×250=50

Therefore, 20% of 250 is 50.

Why Is This Important?

Understanding how to calculate percentages equips you with the ability to make informed decisions in various aspects of life. From calculating how much you save during sales to figuring out what portion of your income should go into savings, percentages are ubiquitous and undeniably useful.

Tips for Success

  • Practice with Real-Life Examples: The more you use percentages in daily life, the more intuitive they become. Practice by working out discounts, calculating tips at restaurants, or analysing data.
  • Use Technology: Don’t shy away from using calculators or smartphone apps to help you. They can be great tools for learning and verifying your calculations.
  • Memorise Key Percentages: Familiarising yourself with common percentages (like 10%, 20%, 50%) and their decimal equivalents can speed up your calculations.


Figuring out a percentage of a number is a fundamental mathematical skill that enhances your ability to understand and interact with the world around you. With the basic formula, a bit of practice, and real-life application, you’ll find that working with percentages becomes second nature.

Remember, mathematics is not just about numbers but about thinking critically and making informed decisions.

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