How to Multiply a Number by a Percent

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A percent by itself represents just a fraction of a whole. When a percent amount is multiplied to another number, the operation produces a value that equals the given percent of the original number. When the percent amount is less than a hundred, the product will be a reduction of the original number, and if the percent amount is greater than one hundred, the product will then be greater than the number. Multiplying a number by 100 percent is a just variation of the multiplicative identity and will result in the value being unchanged. The multiplication process of a percent to a number follows normal arithmetic rules, with the addition of division at the end.

    Obtain a desired number and percent amount for example purposes. In this example, let the number be 700 and the percent amount be 60 percent.

    Multiply the percent amount to the number. In this example, multiplying 60 to 700 results in 42,000.

    Divide the product of the number and percent by 100. For this example, division of 100 into 42,000 results in 420.

Applying the Concept

Now that you have a feel for the basic process of multiplying a number by a percent, it's easy to understand the formula for this process:

\frac{\text{number} × \text{percent} }{100} = \text{result}

All you have to do is insert the number and percent, then follow the order of operations to get the result. In the example above, you had

\frac{700 × 60}{100} = 420

Another way of putting this would be to say that 60 percent of 700 is 420. You can do exactly the same thing while substituting different values for the number and the percent. For example, if you want to know what 55 percent of 300 is, you would calculate:

\frac{300 × 55}{100} = 165

So, 55 percent of 300 is 165.

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