How to Figure a Percentage of a Whole Number

By Brenda Sanders; Updated April 24, 2017

Percentages are merely parts of a hundred. 82 percent, for instance, is simply 82/100. Figuring the percentage of a whole number is pretty straightforward.

Write the percentage you want to find in the form of a fraction. The percentage you want to find will be the numerator and 100 will be the denominator. If the percentage you want to find is 50 percent, for instance, then you would write 50/100.

Reduce the fraction to its lowest terms by dividing the numerator and the denominator by the greatest common factor . For instance, using the same 50/100 in step one, divide the numerator and the denominator by 50, the GCF. This would reduce to 1/2, which is 50/100 in lowest terms.

Multiply the fraction written in lowest terms in step two (1/2) by whatever your whole number is. This would give you your answer. Use 160 as the whole number, for example. Multiplying 1/2 (from step two) by the whole number 160 gives 80.

About the Author

Brenda Sanders is an educator who has taught in many capacities for over 15 years. She recently completed her doctorate in education from George Fox University. Brenda received her MAT from Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach. She has also worked as a proofreader, editor and writer.