## Percentage difference between two numbers in Excel

#### We served 2,800 customers last month and 3,200 customers this month. What percentage increase is that?

This calculation requires three steps.

First calculate the difference between the two numbers. Then, calculate this value as a ‘fraction’ of the earlier number. Finally ask Excel to display this result as a percentage.

The difference between the two numbers is always the later or more recent number minus the earlier or older number.

In the example below, customer numbers have increased from 2,800 last month to 3,200 this month. First, calculate the difference.

Next, take the difference between the two numbers and divide by the original number.

Finally, change the format of the answer so that Excel displays it as a percentage. This can be done using the percentage icon on the toolbar.

It is usually worthwhile increasing the number of decimal places displayed so that a more accurate value is shown.

Customer numbers changing from 2,800 to 3,200 represents an increase of 14.29%.

#### We served 3,500 customers last month and 3,400 customers this month. What percentage decrease is that?

Where the number decreases, the steps are the same.

In the example below, customer numbers have decreased from 3,500 last month to 3,400 this month. First, calculate the difference.

Here, the difference is a negative number, representing a decrease in numbers.

Next, take the difference between the two numbers and divide by the original number.

Finally, change the format of the answer so that Excel displays it as a percentage. This can be done using the percentage icon on the toolbar.

Again, it is usually worthwhile increasing the number of decimal places displayed so that a more accurate value is shown.

Customer numbers changing from 3,500 to 3,400 represents a decrease of 2.86%.

Try it yourself using the examples below…

## What percentage does a value represent of the total amount?

#### 7 answers out of 12 were correct. What is the percentage score?

This type of calculation is best approached as a fraction.

The partial value, in this case 7, is divided by the total value. Formatting is then used to display the resulting number as a percentage.

In the example below, 7 answers were correct out of a possible 12.

Finally, change the format of the answer so that Excel displays it as a percentage. This can be done using the percentage icon on the toolbar.

It is usually worthwhile increasing the number of decimal places displayed so that a more accurate value is shown.

A score of 7 correct out of 12 questions represents a total score of 58.33%.

Try it yourself using the examples below…

## Decrease a number by a percentage

#### Calculate a discount of 9% on a purchase of 120

This is best approached in two stages.

First, calculate the percentage required using the technique described here – Finding a percentage of a number. Then subtract this amount from the original.

In the example below a 9% discount is applied to a purchase of 120.

If you get a 9% discount on a purchase of 120, you only pay 109.20.

Try it yourself using the examples below…

## Increase a number by a percentage

#### Increase 24,000 by 4%

This is best approached in two stages.

First, calculate the percentage required using the technique described here – Finding a percentage of a number. Then add this amount to the original.

In the example below, an annual salary of 24,000 has been increased by 4%.

A 4% increase on a salary of 24,000 is 24,960.

Try it yourself using the examples below…

## Percentage of a number using Excel

#### What is 7% of 2,500?

This is probably the easiest percentage calculation to do. Simply multiply the number by the percentage required.

In the example below, a tax rate of 7% is applied to an original amount of 2,500…

7% of 2,500 is 175.

To find the total amount payable, add the 2,500 and the 175…

Try it yourself using the examples below…

## Percentages in Excel

The use of percentages in Excel are not the easiest concept to understand.

The percentages you use with Excel are just the same as the ones you might calculate with a calculator but it helps if you think about them slightly differently when calculating in Excel.

Always enter a percentage in Excel as a number followed by a percent sign. If you work this way, you don’t have to worry about all that multiplying and dividing by 100!

Try these short tutorials – the easier ones are at the top…

## Percentage of a number

(What is 7% of 2,500?)

## Increase a number by a percentage

(Increase 24,000 by 4%)

## Decrease a number by a percentage

(Calculate a discount of 9% on a purchase of 120)

## What percentage does a value represent of the total amount?

(7 answers out of 12 were correct. What is the percentage score?)

## Difference between two numbers as a percentage

(Customer numbers changed from 2,800 to 3,200. What percentage increase is that?)
(Customer numbers changed from 3,500 to 3,400. What percentage decrease is that?)