How to calculate percentage in Excel - formula examples

In this tutorial, you will lean a quick way to calculate percentages in Excel, find the basic percentage formula and a few more formulas for calculating percentage increase, percent of total and more.

Calculating percentage is useful in many areas of life, whether it is restaurant tipping, reseller commission, your income tax or interest rate. Say, you've been lucky enough to get a 25% off promotion code on a new plasma TV. Is this a good deal? And how much will you eventually have to pay?

In this tutorial, we are going to explore a few techniques that will help you efficiently calculate percent in Excel and learn the basic percentage formulas that will take the guesswork out of your calculations.

Percentage basics

The term "per cent" is derived from the Latin per centum, meaning "by the hundred". As you probably remember from high school math class, a percentage is a fraction of 100 that is calculated by dividing the numerator by the denominator and multiplying the result by 100.

The basic percentage formula is as follows:

(Part/Whole)*100 = Percentage

For example, if you had 20 apples and you gave 5 to your friends, how much did you give, percentage wise? By performing a simple calculation =5/20*100 you get the answer - 25%.

This is how you normally calculate percentages in school and everyday life. Computing percentage in Microsoft Excel is even easier since Excel performs some operations for you automatically, in the background.

Regrettably, there is no universal Excel formula for percentage that would cover all possible scenarios. If you ask someone "Which percent formula do I use to get the result I want?", most likely, you will get an answer like "Well, that depends on what exactly result you want to achieve."

So, let me show you a few simple formulas for calculating a percent in Excel such as a percentage increase formula, a formula to get percentages of a total and more.

Basic Excel percentage formula

The basic formula to calculate percentage in Excel is this:

Part/Total = Percentage

If you compare it to the basic math formula for percentage, you will notice that Excel's percentage formula lacks the *100 part. When calculating a percent in Excel, you do not have to multiply the resulting fraction by 100 since Excel does this automatically when the percentage format is applied to a cell.

And now, let's see how you can use the Excel percentage formula on real-life data. Suppose, you have the number of "Ordered items" in column B and "Delivered items" in column C. To find out the percentage of delivered products, perform the following steps:

  • Enter the formula =C2/B2 in cell D2, and copy it down to as many rows as you need.
  • Click the Percent Style button (Home tab > Number group) to display the resulting decimal fractions as percentages.
  • Remember to increase the number of decimal places if needed, as explained in Percentage tips.
  • Done! : )

The same sequence of steps shall be performed when using any other percentage formula in Excel.

In the following example, column D displays a rounded percent of delivered items, without any decimal places showing.

Using the basic Excel percentage formula

Calculating percentage of total in Excel

In fact, the above example is a particular case of calculating percentages of a total. Now, let's investigate a few more examples that will help you make quick work of calculating a percent of a total in Excel on different data sets.

Example 1. The total is at the end of the table in a certain cell

A very common scenario is when you have a total in a single cell at the end of a table. In this case, the percentage formula will be similar to the one we've just discussed with the only difference that a cell reference in the denominator is an absolute reference (with $).The dollar sign fixes the reference to a given cell, so that it never changes no matter where the formula is copied.

For example, if you have some values in column B and their total in cell B10, you'd use the following formula to calculate percentages of the total: =B2/$B$10

You use a relative cell reference to cell B2 because you want it to get changed when you copy the formula to other cells of column B. But you enter $B$10 as an absolute cell reference because you want to leave the denominator fixed on B10 when auto-filling the formula down to row 9.

Tip. To make the denominator an absolute reference, either type the dollar sign ($) manually or click the cell reference in the formula bar and press F4.

The screenshot below demonstrates the results returned by the formula, the Percentages of Total column is formatted as percentage with 2 decimal places showing.
Calculating percentage of a total in Excel

Example 2. Parts of the total are in multiple rows

In the above example, suppose you have several rows for the same product and you want to know what part of the total is made by all orders of that particular product.

In this case, you can use the SUMIF function to add up all numbers relating to a given product first, and then divide that number by the total, like this:

=SUMIF(range, criteria, sum_range) / total

Given that column A contains all product names, column B lists corresponding quantities, cell E1 is the name of the product you are interested in, and the total is in cell B10, your real-life formula may look similar to this:

=SUMIF(A2:A9 ,E1, B2:B9) / $B$10
A formula to calculate a percentage of the total when items are in multiple rows

Naturally, you can put the product name directly in the formula, like this:

=SUMIF(A2:A9, "cherries", B2:B9) / $B$10

If you want to find out what part of the total a few different products make, add up the results returned by several SUMIF functions, and then divide that number by the total. For example, the following formula calculates the percent of cherries and apples:

=(SUMIF(A2:A9, "cherries", B2:B9) + SUMIF(A2:A9, "apples", B2:B9)) / $B$10

For more information about the SUM function, please check out the following tutorials:

How to calculate percent change in Excel

Of all formulas for calculating percentage in Excel, a percent change formula is probably the one you would use most often.

Excel formula for percentage change (percentage increase / decrease)

To calculate percent change between values A and B, use the following formula:

(B - A) / A = Percent Change

When applying this formula to real data, it is important that you correctly determine which value is A and which is B. For example, yesterday you had 80 apples and how you have 100, meaning that now you have 20 apples more than before, which is 25% increase. If you had 100 apples and now you have 80, your number of apples has reduced by 20, which is 20% decrease.

Considering the above, our Excel formula for percentage change takes the following shape:

(New Value - Old Value) / Old Value = Percent Change

And now, let's see how you can use this percentage change formula (aka Excel percentage increase formula) in your spreadsheets.

Example 1. Calculating percent change between 2 columns

Suppose that you have the last month prices in column B and this month prices in column C. Then you can enter the following formula in cell D2 to calculate percentage change in your Excel sheet:


This percent change formula calculates the percentage increase / decrease in this month (column C) comparted to last month (column B).

After copying the formula to other rows, remember to click the Percent Style button on the ribbon to display decimals as percentages and you will get a result similar to what you see in the screenshot below. In this example, positive percentages that show percentage increase are formatted in usual black, while the negative percentages (percent decrease) are formatted in red by using the technique explained in this tip.
Excel formula to calculate percent change between 2 columns

Example 2. Calculating percentage change between rows

In case you have one column of numbers, say column C that lists weekly or monthly sales, you can calculate percentage change using this formula:


Where C2 is the 1st and C3 is the 2nd cell with data.

Note. Please pay attention that you should skip the first row with data and put your Excel percentage formula into the 2nd cell, which is D3 in this example.

After applying the percent format to the column with the percent change formula, you will get the following result:
Excel formula to calculate percent change between rows

If you want to calculate percentage change compared to a certain cell, then you need to fix the reference to that cell by using the absolute cell reference with the $ sign, e.g. $C$2.

For instance, here is the Excel percentage change formula that calculates the percent increase / decrease for each month compared to January (C2):


When you drag the formula down to copy it to other cells, the absolute reference ($C$2) will stay the same, while the relative reference (C3) will change to C4, C5 and so on.
Calculating a percentage change compared to January

Calculating amount and total by percentage

As you've just seen, calculating percentages in Excel is easy, and so is calculating amounts and totals if you know the percentage.

Example 1. Calculate amount by total and percentage

Suppose you are buying a new laptop for $950 and they charge 11% VAT on this purchase. The question is - how much do you have to pay on top of the net price? In other words, what is 11% of $950?

The following formula will help:

Total * Percentage = Amount

Assuming that the total value is in cell A2 and percent in B2, the above formula turns into a simple =A2*B2 and returns 104.50.
Calculating amount by total and percentage

Remember, when you type a number followed by the percent sign (%) in Excel, the number is interpreted as a hundredth of its value. For example, 11% is actually stored as 0.11 and Excel uses this underlying value in all formulas and calculations.

In other words, the formula =A2*11% is equivalent to =A2*0.11. Naturally, you are free to use the decimal number corresponding to the percentage directly in a formula if this works better for your worksheets.

Example 2. Calculating total by amount and percentage

For example, you friend offered you his old computer for $400, which is 30% off the original price. You want to know what the original price was.

Since 30% is the discount, you deduct it from 100% first to know what percentage you actually have to pay (100% - 30% = 70%). Now you need the formula to calculate the original price, i.e. to find the number whose 70% equals 400.

The formula goes as follows:

Amount / Percentage = Total

Applied to real data, it may take any of the following shapes:

=A2/B2 or =A2/0.7 or =A2/70%
Calculating the total by amount and percentage

How to increase / decrease a number by percentage

The holiday season is upon us and this indicates a change in your usual weekly spendings. You may want to consider different options to find out your optimum weekly allowance.

To increase an amount by a percentage, use this formula:

= Amount * (1 + %)

For example, the formula =A1*(1+20%) increases the value in cell A1 by 20%.

To decrease an amount by a percentage:

= Amount * (1 - %)

For instance, the formula =A1*(1-20%) reduces the value in cell A1 by 20%.

In our example, if A2 is your current expenditures and B2 is the percentage you want to increase or reduce that amount by, here are the formulas you'd enter in cell C2:

Increase by percentage: =A2*(1+B2)

Reduce by percentage: =A2*(1-B2)
Excel formula to increase a number by percentage

How to increase / reduce an entire column by a percentage

Suppose, you have a column of numbers that you want to increase or reduce by a certain percent, and you want to have the updated numbers in the same column rather than add a new column with the formula.

Here are 5 quick steps to handle this task:

  1. Enter all the numbers you want to increase or decrease in some column, column B in this example.
  2. In an empty cell, enter one of the below formulas:

    Increase by percentage: =1+20%

    Reduce by percentage: =1-20%

    A formula to increase an entire column of numbers by a certain percentage

    Naturally, you are free to replace 20% in the above formulas with the percentage you want.

  3. Select the cell with the formula (C2 in our case) and copy it by pressing Ctrl + C.
  4. Select the range of cells you want to change, right click the selection and then click Paste Special…
    Use Paste Special to increase an entire column of numbers by percentage
  5. In the Paste Special dialog window, select Values under Paste, Multiply under Operation and click OK.
    In the Paste Special dialog window, select Values under Paste, Multiply under Operation.

And here's the result - all the numbers in column B are increased by 20%:
All the numbers in column B are increased by 20%.

In the same fashion, you can multiply or divide a column of numbers by a certain percentage. Simply enter the desired percentage in an empty cell and follow the steps above.

This is how you calculate percentage in Excel. And even if working with percentages has never been your favorite kind of math, by using these basic percentage formulas you can get Excel to do the work for you. That's all for today, thank you for reading!

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304 Responses to "How to calculate percentage in Excel - formula examples"

  1. parwez` says:

    I want small information

    total actual muslim

    237 218 20

    i want formula

  2. ndivhuho says:


    I want to calculate Viral load which are >20% per facility. but i have calculated it but what i really need is all the facilities which are .20% to group them as Above and Under 20%.

    how do i calculate after getting each facility percentage.

  3. Sibang says:

    I have the following share price fluctuations:
    From To Appreciation
    Company A $100 $50 -$50
    Company B $50 $100 +50
    Company C $100 $200 +100
    Company D $200 $150 -50
    Shares were sold at $160

    Now, the total growth is 60 (i.e. 160 - 100) but each company contributed different portions. For example, Company A was no contribution, Company B no contribution as the price was from a loss to the same as allocation, but Company C moved from 100 to 200 = R100 contribution. However because the shares were sold at 160, they pick up the entire growth of $60. This is because D was a decline too.

    I have tried multiple formulas to help be calculate these contributions irrespective of how high or low the price was ut struggling. Anyone with an idea.Thanks

  4. sam says:

    I need to create a simple formula where a total of one cell minus 2.5% equals the total of another cell.

    cell E12-2.5% = E18
    can you please help me with this no matter what I try a can't get it to work.

    Thank You

  5. Hubert says:

    hi i need help with is function
    In cell F7 in the Data worksheet, insert a formula that calculates the percentage of books returned based on the number of books returned and the quantity sold. Copy the formula from cell F7 to the range F8:F22.

    books returned 10%
    quantity sold 8,584

  6. Vivek Tripathi says:

    Thank You very much for very clear and easy way to explaining the steps. You're best in teaching the methods and process.

  7. Debbie says:

    I am trying to figure out how to charge my adult children rent for the amount I am in the hole every month. I am in the whole $2,000 a month. I want to figure out how much each person will pay by there yearly income. Some make 40K, some 20K and 12K. Also, what is the formula to check the calculation.

    • Juanita says:

      I would sum the total income (say total income is $100,000). Then determine each person's percentage of the income (whoever makes 12k would be 12%, and so on). Then you'd use that percentage to determine that person's share of rent (the person who makes 12k would pay $240).

  8. Jithin says:

    Hello All,

    Can someone advise me how i can get 0% in sales volume column in Excel?

    When i put below formula 100% appears, where i wish to have 0%.

    Units available (B7)/ Units sold (C7)/ Sale volume (%)
    2 2 =B7/C7*100%

  9. Ilyas says:

    How do i get rid of divx errors when trying to work out growth percentages as per example below:


    Always shows divx when it is dividing by 0 and this makes spreadsheet look unprofessional and i am struggling with the iferror formula to help with this kind of error.

  10. Richard says:

    I don't think this has been covered. Sorry if it has.
    I'm try to work out how many more are required to hit a certain %.

    For example 10 items with 3 attachments.
    How many more need to be sold with attachment to get to 60%.
    I know there would need to be another 8 sold with attachments to get about 60%.
    11/18*100 = 61.1%

    I want to be able to change the % of attachments.

    so if > 60% then you are ahead, but if less then 60% you need to get the next X with attachment to get above 60%

    Thanks for any help.

  11. Naseem says:

    Find percentage in exel give formula

  12. Catalog Manager says:

    I Wanna calculate in percent
    e.g.: for $350 i want to add 20%

    And for each $ less than $350 should be added 5.7% more to the 20%
    e.g.: for $349 should be added 25.7% and for $348 should be added 31.4% etc.

    How can I write it in a formula in excel ?

    Catalog Manager

  13. RAM says:


  14. Greg says:

    I have 3 values in 3 column (e,f,g)e is booked patient,f is seen patients and g the number of no shows. to obtain g I have formulated the cell to =(E28-F28)/E28 e.g to give me a percentage of no shows.
    however when I have zero values in E and F I get this error message #DIV/O in G.
    I cannot seam to find the right equations to reflect g as a 0% until numbers have been populated in e and f.
    any recommendation gratefully appreciated

    • Hi, Grag,

      the point is that when a number is divided by zero (0), Excel shows the #DIV/0! error. It happens with your formula when there's nothing in F28 cell. Please try the following formula in G28 instead:

      If you want to learn more about the IF function, please have a look at our article that explains how the functions works.

  15. rita says:

    how can you find the average and total when you have salary, allowances,gross pay, tax(16%),and net pay.

  16. Tony says:

    Can you help please, I am trying to find the average % of a row of numbers and how to formulate it on excel sheet, the average of the row must calculate to higher or lower than 90%.
    hope you understand what i mean
    many thanks Tony

  17. agy says:

    is good calculation

  18. loga says:

    hai, how to find the margin difference between new quoted price & requested price ?please guide me.

    for example : quoted price is : sgd 80 & requested price is 30sgd
    so base on the formula :
    =(80-30)/30 : i get percentage of :166.67%
    is it correct?

  19. ANWER says:


  20. Arun j says:

    its good help for me

  21. viji says:

    Hi sir i want percentage formula. Question is 9 answer 9.0 i want this question answer and formula.

  22. andre says:

    hi im cal % current cost and sell price answer = 1.25%
    how do i change answer to show 25%

  23. Eze says:

    Hi can anyone help?
    I need to make sure a loan value remain at 80% or above of a security.
    Example: amount of loan 500000k*80%=? Unknown security
    What is the amount of security needed to make sure a loan of 500000k stays at 80% ltv?

  24. Eze says:

    We have several loan amounts, but don’t know the security?
    But been told all these had been offered at a maximum 80% LTV of the loan amount.
    Is there an easy way to calculate the amount of the original security?

  25. Eze says:

    Now sorted.
    Thank you for the reply I received to my email. ;)
    Solution is to divide the amount of loan by the percentage.
    I. e 500000k:80%= the amount needed

  26. Andrea says:

    Hello, I need to Calculate the percentage (%) of income that is being contributed to retirement in B20.
    Gross Income:B12 $45,926.40
    My Contribution:B14 $6,888.96
    Roth IRA:B16 $3,600
    Total Retirement Contributions:B17 $12,785.28

    Thank you

    • Hello,

      If I understand your task correctly, please try the following formula:


      Please check that the Percentage format is applied to cell B20. To do this, open the Format Cells dialog either by pressing Ctrl + 1 or right-clicking the cell and selecting Format Cells… from the context menu. Make sure the Percentage category is selected and specify the desired number of decimal places in the Decimal places box.

      Hope it will help you.

  27. Lawrence says:

    How to calculate the % of specific text in Excel:

    For example:


    What is the %'of red, blue and Orange? How to come up with a formula in Excel?

  28. Shashi Kala says:

    If we want to increase or decrease percentage, suppose a-b/a*100%, If a is zero than what will happen.

  29. Sal says:

    I have a simple issue that I don't know how to do since I am not a financial person.
    Cell A I have amount to receive from my clients, Cell B I have to pay the money to get the job/product. I need cell C to show what percent I have made out of it. Hope you understand. Thank you in advance. TC

  30. donna says:

    I have an Annual Budget of $1,450,00, I need to insert formulas that will calculate total amount for each department based on the specified percentage of the annual budget

  31. Dinesh maru says:

    I want to get this formula
    Cell A ki 1to100 Tak ki 5% Kya hota hai

  32. Dinesh maru says:

    A. B. C
    150. A.ke1to100ke5%. baki
    Bache 101> ke 10%

  33. Atif Durrani says:

    Dear sir,
    hope your are fine, kindly solve my this problem i want to take 50 percentage of 37800 in other column in excel sheet. how i can do this.

    God Bless you.
    Atif Durrani

  34. Abdul Waheed says:

    Dear Sir,

    Can you adv us, how can i apply percantage on all sheet only one colume

    suppose i had the rate sheet & i want to added 5% on all sheet that what i do


  35. poster says:

    Poster's, Don't forget to say please and thank you.
    These people are trying to help you with your problems.

  36. Sujit M says:

    easy to learning and elaborative.. thanks.

  37. santosh says:

    " if a1=apple and b1= india so c1= count 1 " please put the formula

  38. ashwini says:

    example:In a department there are 10 employees ,total number of leaves taken by them is 25 how to calculate leave % of that department

  39. Farooq Minhas says:

    if a 54=70% then what is 90% of 54?

  40. Farooq Minhas says:

    100% = 70% of A and 30% of B. then how to calculate the 120% of A and 70% of B


  41. rose fawaz says:

    hello, i need a help,
    how to calculate the precentage between two invoice

  42. Sonny Manimtim says:

    kindly help me solve the following

    original price: $421.95
    discounted price: $359.96

    savings: $61.99

    in terms of percentage, how many percent was saved? Please show me the formula


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