Convert percent to decimal. Sounds easy enough? Well it’s not. You have to have a system that works or else you’ll struggle. This simple, step-by-step guide will help you understand how to convert a decimal to a percent and a fraction to a decimal.
Converting numbers from percentages to decimals is a basic part of math, so it’s important to be comfortable with this skill. Working with percentages and decimals is common for calculations that deal with money, but percentages are found everywhere, including nutrition and clothing labels. Learning to convert numbers from percentages to decimal formats is a simple and straightforward process that you can easily get the hang of!
Table of Contents
Method 1 Using Division Download Article
- 1 Divide by 100 using a digital calculator. Don’t worry about the percentage sign. Simply take your number and divide it by 100.
- Use a simple handheld calculator, an online calculator, or a calculator app on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
- 2 Drop the percentage symbol when you write your answer. The number you get when you divide by 100 is your answer. When you write it down, do not add the percentage symbol (%) as you have now successfully converted your percentage into a decimal.
- 3 Relate this to a familiar example like money. Money is a helpful way to think about percentages and decimals because there are 100 cents (or pennies) in a dollar. If you have 75% of a dollar, then you are really saying that you have 75 cents out of a possible 100 cents, which is written like: $0.75.
- A percentage is a number written with a percentage symbol (%) after it. When you talk about a percentage, you are really saying “per 100.”
Method 2 Moving the Decimal Point Download Article
- 1 Drop the percentage sign. Before you can move the decimal point, you need to drop the percentage sign.
- For 50%, simply drop the % and write “50” on your paper.
- You may have a percentage like 20.5%, where there is a decimal point in your percentage. That’s fine! It works the same as a whole number percentage like 20% when you convert it.
- 2 Write the decimal point into your number. Before you can move the decimal point, you need to know where it is. The decimal point comes at the end of a whole number, after the digit in the ones place.
- If you began with 50%, you will now have “50.0” on your paper.
- 3 Move the decimal to the left by two. Finish converting your percentage to a decimal by moving the decimal point over to the left by two. When you write your answer, include one zero on the left side of the decimal point as a place holder.
- For example, if your starting value is 50%, you simply drop the percentage symbol. Next, note that the decimal point is to the right of the “0.” Finally, move the decimal point two spots over so it is to the left of the “5.” Together, all of the steps look like: 50%, 50, 50.0, 0.50.
Knowing how to convert percentages to decimals and back again is a valuable math skill and is certainly helpful for understanding your finances. Whether you’re making quick estimates in your head, using a calculator, or modeling your car loan on a spreadsheet, you need to know how decimals and percentages are related.
Divide by 100
Most interest rates are quoted and advertised in terms of a percentage. But if you want to run calculations using those numbers, you’ll need to convert them to decimal format. The simplest way to do that is to divide the number by 100.1
Example: To convert 75% to decimal format, divide 75 by 100.
75 ÷ 100 = .75
Search engines such as Google and Bing also make it easy to do quick calculations online, or you can also fire up your favorite calculator app if you prefer. To calculate with a search engine, type the expression you’re trying to solve into the search field. For example, type in “75/100.”2
Move the Decimal Point to the Left
Another simple way to convert a quoted percentage to decimal format is to move the decimal two places to the left.3
If you don’t actually see a decimal, just imagine that it’s at the end, or far right side, of the number. Imagine that the decimal is followed by two zeroes if that helps (so 75 is 75.00).
Example: To convert 75% to decimal format, move the decimal point before the 7.
75% = .75
After you do this several times, it will become natural, and you’ll be able to do it instantly in your head.
With more complex numbers, you’ll still just move the decimal over two places. Here are a few more examples:
- 100% = 1
- 150% = 1.5
- 75.435% = .75435
- .5% = .005
Example: APY Earnings
Assume your bank pays a 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) on your savings account. How much will you earn over one year if you deposit $100?
To find out, convert the interest rate to decimal format and multiply the result by the amount of your deposit.
1.25 ÷ 100 = .0125
.125 * $100 = $1.25
You’ll earn $1.25 per year for every $100 that you deposit.
Use an asterisk (or * symbol) to multiply numbers when using a spreadsheet or search engine.
Example: Purchase Discounts
Let’s say you want to buy an item that normally costs $45, and it’s on sale at 30% off. How much would you save, and how much would it cost on sale?
30 ÷ 100 = .30
.30 * $45 = $13.50 (savings)
45 – $13.50 = $31.50 (sale price)
You would pay $31.50 and save $13.50 on the item.
The percent (%) is a number type used in arts, to specify parts in hundredths. The percent has two different representations in the numeric system: written in the decimal form and when encoded as an integer, appears in the form of “%” (the signs % and ‰ are often confused). The number 100% represents the total amount. Percent can be -/+ several digits to the left / right of the decimal point.