How to Calculate what percentage a number is of another number in excel ?


Calculating percentages is a common task in many fields, from business and finance to education and personal projects. Excel makes these calculations easy and straightforward with its built-in functions and formulas. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps to calculate what percentage one number is of another in Excel, ensuring you can quickly and accurately perform this calculation whenever you need it.

Understanding the Basics of Percentage Calculation

Before we dive into Excel, let’s briefly cover the basic formula for calculating the percentage of one number relative to another. The formula is:


Percentage = (Part / Whole) × 100

Here, “Part” is the number you want to find the percentage for, and “Whole” is the number you are comparing it to.


Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Percentages in Excel

  1. Open Your Excel Worksheet
    Start by opening Excel and creating a new worksheet or opening an existing one where you want to perform the calculation.
  2. Enter Your Data
    Input the numbers you want to calculate the percentage for. For example, if you want to find out what percentage 30 is of 150, you can enter 30 in cell A1 and 150 in cell A2.
  3. Write the Percentage Formula
    Click on the cell where you want the result to appear. For instance, let’s choose cell A3. Enter the formula: =A1/A2*100
  4. Press Enter
    Press Enter to execute the formula. The cell (A3 in this case) will display the percentage value.
  5. Format the Result as a Percentage
    By default, Excel will show the result as a number. To format it as a percentage, select the cell with the result (A3), go to the “Home” tab on the Ribbon, and click the “Percent Style” button in the Number group. Alternatively, you can right-click the cell, select “Format Cells,” and choose “Percentage.”

Example Walkthrough

Let’s walk through an example. Suppose you want to calculate what percentage 45 is of 200.

  1. Enter the numbers: Type 45 in cell B1. Type 200 in cell B2.
  2. Enter the formula in cell B3: =B1/B2*100
  3. Press Enter: Cell B3 will display 22.5.
  4. Format the result as a percentage: Format cell B3 to display as a percentage, resulting in 22.5%.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use Excel to calculate percentages for multiple data points at once?

Yes, you can use Excel to calculate percentages for multiple data points. You can drag the fill handle to apply the formula to other cells, or use array formulas.


2. How do I calculate the percentage increase or decrease between two numbers in Excel?

You can calculate the percentage increase or decrease by using the formula: ((New Number - Old Number) / Old Number) * 100. Format the result as a percentage.

3. What is the difference between formatting a cell as a number and as a percentage in Excel?

Formatting a cell as a number shows the raw value, whereas formatting it as a percentage multiplies the value by 100 and adds a percentage sign.


4. Can I use Excel to calculate percentages in pivot tables?

Yes, you can use pivot tables in Excel to calculate percentages. Use the “Value Field Settings” to show values as a percentage of a total.

5. How do I handle percentage calculations in large datasets?

For large datasets, you can use Excel functions like SUMIF and AVERAGEIF to calculate percentages based on specific criteria.


6. Can Excel display percentages as fractions?

Yes, Excel can display percentages as fractions. You can format the cell to show the value as a fraction by selecting “Fraction” from the Format Cells dialog.

7. How do I avoid common errors when calculating percentages in Excel?

Common errors include dividing by zero and incorrect cell references. Double-check your formulas and ensure that your divisor is not zero.


8. Are there Excel templates available for percentage calculations?

Yes, there are many Excel templates available online for percentage calculations and other tasks, which can save you time and effort.



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