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Difference between Percent and Percentage

Date: 04/26/2008 at 19:25:20
From: Sheldon 
Subject: difference between percent and percentage 

What is the difference between percent and percentage are there any
difference?  I think both are out of 100. 

Date: 04/26/2008 at 23:15:42
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: difference between percent and percentage

Hi, Sheldon.

The only difference is in how they are used grammatically--and people 
differ even on that.  I take "percentage" to refer to the concept, and 
"percent" to be a unit, much like "voltage" vs. "volts" in 
electricity, or "mileage" vs. "miles" in distance.  The mileage you 
put on a car during a trip might be 40 miles; the percentage of people
who expect gas prices to rise might be 40 percent (40%).

Here is one dictionary's take on it (

Percentage: noun

  1 a: a part of a whole expressed in hundredths
       <a high percentage of students attended>
    b: the result obtained by multiplying a number by a percent
       <the percentage equals the rate times the base>

Percent: adverb

  : in the hundred : of each hundred

The main difference is that they report "percentage" as a noun and
"percent" as an adverb.  That fits my understanding.  Note that
"percentage" is not used with a number, while "percent" is (and not

You can read more about this topic in our archives:

  Percent vs Percentage 

If you have any further questions, feel free to write back.

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum 
Associated Topics:
Elementary Definitions
Elementary Fractions
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Fractions

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