 # 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.