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At a Glance - Percents

A percent is just a fraction with a nice, easy denominator of 100.

You see percents everywhere: shopping, grades, weather forecasts, sports statistics. Like fractions and decimals, percentages are ways of expressing parts of a whole.

  • For example 50% is just 50 out of 100 parts, or  50/100 = 1/2

To tell the truth, we probably could get by on fractions and decimals alone. But, percents are friendly, helpful, attractive, and memorable. We kind of have a crush on percents. Out of 100 is a really simple proportion to deal with (think of a dollar bill… 100 pennies).

Visualizing Percents

When you work with percents, it is important to be able to imagine what they look like. The easiest way to do this is to convert them into fractions. All you need to remember is that a percent is just a fraction with a denominator of 100.

Here are some of the most common percents:

50% pie chart

25% pie chart

75% pie chart

20% pie chart

33.3% pie chart

66.6% pie chart

10% pie chart

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