# How to calculate the percentage in Excel

If you’re struggling with calculating percentage increases or decreases in Microsoft Excel, this guide will walk you through the process.

Microsoft Excel is great for both basic and complicated calculations, including percentage differences. If you’re struggling to calculate percentage increases or decreases on paper, Excel can do it for you.

If you remember your school math, the process for calculating percentages in Excel is quite similar. Here’s how to use Excel to calculate percentage increases and decreases. And perform other percentage calculations like percentages of a number.

## Calculation of the percentage increase in Excel

The percentage increases involve two numbers. The basic mathematical approach to calculating a percentage increase is to subtract the second number from the first. Using the sum of this digit, divide this remaining digit by the original number.

To give an example, the cost of a household bill costs **$ 100** in September, but **$ 125** in October. To calculate this difference, you can use the Excel formula **= SUM (NEW-OLD) / OLD** or, for this example, **= SUM (125-100) / 100 ** in Excel.

If your digits are in separate cells, you can substitute the numbers for the cell references in your formula. For example, if the September invoice amount is in the cell **B4** and the October invoice amount is in the cell **B5, yours **alternative Excel formula would be **= SUM (B5-B4) / B4** .

The percentage increase between September and October is **25%** with this digit shown as a decimal number ( **0.25** ) by default in Excel using the above formula.

If you want to see this figure as a percentage in Excel, you will need to replace the formatting for your cell. Select your cell, then click the button **Percentage style** in the card **Home, in the category ****Number** .

You can also right-click the cell, click **Cell format** then select **Percentages** from the menu **Category> Number** to achieve the same effect.

## Calculation of the percentage decrease in Excel

To calculate the percentage decrease between two numbers, you will use a calculation identical to the percentage increase. Subtract the second number from the first, then divide it by the first number. The only difference is that the first number will be smaller than the second.

Continuing the previous example, if a household bill is **of $ 125** in October, but back to **$ 100** in november, you should use the excel formula **= SUM (NEW-OLD) / OLD** or, in this example, **= SUM (100-125) / 125** .

Using cell references, if the October invoice amount of **$ 125** is in the cell **B4** and the November invoice amount of **$ 100** is in the cell **B5** the Excel formula for a percentage reduction would be **= SUM (B5-B4) / B4** .

The difference between the data for October and November is of **20%** . Excel displays this as a negative decimal number ( **-0.2** ) in the cells **B7** And **B8** over it.

Setting the cell number type to **Percentages** using the **Home button> Percent Styles** will change the decimal place ( **-0.2** ) in a percentage ( **-20%** ).

## Calculating a percentage as a proportion of a number

Excel can also help you calculate a percentage as a proportion. This is the difference between a number, as a full digit, and a smaller number. This requires an even simpler mathematical calculation than a percentage change.

To give you an example, if you have a debt of **$ 100** and you have already paid **$ 50** the proportion of debt you have paid (and coincidentally still owed) is **50%** . To calculate it, **divide 50 by 100** .

In Excel, the formula for calculating this example would be **= 50/100** . Using cell references, where **$ 100** is in the cell **B3** And **$ 50** is in the cell **B4** the required Excel formula is **= B4 / B3.**

This only uses a basic division operator to supply the decimal number ( **0.5** ).

Converting this type of cell number to **percentages** by clicking the button **Home> Percentage style** will show the correct percentage of the **50%** .

## How to calculate the percentages of a number

Calculating the percentage of a number is something you will encounter in everyday life. A good example would be an item for sale, where a discount is applied **20%** at the original price of **$ 200** . A store employee should know what 20% of $ 200 is. They could then subtract this number from the original price to provide the discounted price.

This requires another simple math calculation in Excel. Here only the multiplication operator ( ***** ) and the percent sign ( **%** ). To calculate what the **20% ** of the original price **of $ 200** you can use **= 20% * 20 ****0** or **= 0.2 * 200** to calculate in Excel.

To use cell references, where the **20%** is in the cell **B4** and the original price of **$ 200** is in the cell **B5** you can use the formula instead **= B4 * B5** .

The result is the same, regardless of whether you use **20%** , **0.2** or separate cell references in the formula. **20% of $ 200** is equivalent **for $ 40** as shown in the cells **from B6 to B8 ** over it.

## Using Excel for complex calculations

As this guide shows, Excel is great for simple calculations, but it also handles the more complex ones. Calculations using functions such as the VLOOKUP function are simplified with the built-in function search tool.

If you are new to Excel, take advantage of some Excel tips that all users should know to further improve your productivity.