Approximately 874 people per day wonder what a unit rate is. If you're one of them, check out our video on unit rates and how to use them. (We just made up that 874 number, but it’s no surprise; we make up 22 numbers per minute here at Shmoop.)
|Number and Quantity||Reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems|
|Ratios, Percentages, and Proportions||Unit Rate|
units. If you were to come across 60 warthogs over
a two mile stretch... ...We'd suggest you get the heck outta dodge.
Those things are vicious. In mathematical terms, this incidence of warthogs
can be expressed as a rate of 60 warthogs for two miles.
However, a "unit rate" reduces one of the terms to a single unit. It's like "magic"...
or to use a highly technical term: "math." So we have a unit rate of 30 warthogs per
mile. You might be thinking, <<DS nerdy voice>>
"Fine. Now I know what a unit rate is, but when will I ever need to compare warthogs
to miles?" Touché. But what about candy bars per dollar?
If a candy bar is $1.50, how many candy bars would you get for your dollar?
All right, we gave you a tricky one. The answer is two-thirds of a candy bar. And when is
that ever enough? Unit rates are used all the time in our everyday
lives... ...such as miles per hour for driving, dollars
and cents per pound when buying food, and points per game in basketball.
Without unit rates, the world would be a vastly more complicated place.
We wouldn't know how many miles per gallon our vehicles receive.
Or how many calories per meal we should eat to meet our nutritional goals. Assuming we
have any. Even many professional writers, including
freelance journalists, are paid by the word. Unit rates are all around us, and they help
keep the world from descending into chaos. Let's hear it for Unit Rates - keeping the
world from falling into disorder. We thank you, on behalf of neat freaks everywhere.