We come across percentages every day. ‘iPhone sales grow 142%; iPad sales grow 183%’ . Sounds good, but what does it actually mean? What about a 415% increase? We all did percentages in school way back when and some of us work with them in our daily lives but they can still be quite difficult to visualize.
For example, I’ve always had a problem with this one – when someone says something’s value has doubled well that’s actually only a 100% increase, and when it has tripled, that’s a 200% increase. When the value has gone up say fivefold that’s a 400% increase on the original value. You would think that the numbers would match, i.e. tripled is a 300% increase, but the important word is ‘increase’. Remember that the original value is 100% and if it triples, its value becomes 300% of the original, but the percentage increase is only 200%. Percentage increase is also known as markup. And in the headline above ‘iPhone sales grow 142%’, I guess they are saying that ‘sales increase by 142%’.
You might also come across the terms -times or -fold which mean the same, i.e. triples is three times or threefold the original value.
But don’t let me muddy the waters for you! There are actually quite a few websites that will calculate percentages or percent increases and decreases for you. Here’s a couple of the best I’ve come across.
Nice clear interface. Just fill in 2 values and it calculates all the unknowns including the percentage increase or decrease.
Perhaps a little clearer but just completes the row you have chosen.
So bookmark one of these sites for future reference when you perhaps want to clarify percentages you’ve been given or you want to calculate percent increases or decreases on your values.
Top image credit: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net