Though percentages and decimals may look different, they both represent the same thing – a fraction of 100. In other words, when you see the symbol “%” after a number, it simply means that number is being multiplied by 100. So, when you’re asked to convert a percent to a decimal, all you need to do is remove the “%” sign and move the decimal point two places to the left.
For example, let’s say you’re given the percentage 33%. To find its decimal equivalent, all you need to do is remove the “%” sign and move the decimal point two places to the left, like this: 33% = 0.33.
Still not sure how to convert a percentage to a decimal? No problem! Keep reading for answers to some frequently asked questions about converting percentages to decimals.
FAQs About Converting Percents to Decimals
Q: Do I always move the decimal point two places to the left when converting a percent to a decimal?
A: Yes! You will always move the decimal point two places to the left when converting any percent to a decimal. This rule applies when converting fractions and mixed numbers (numbers containing both whole numbers and fractions) to decimals.
Q: What if there isn’t a decimal point in my percent?
A: If there isn’t already a decimal point in your percent, that’s okay! You can still convert it to a decimal by moving the decimal point two places from the right side of your number until it’s directly after the last digit in your number. For example:
16% = 0.16
1200% = 12.00
5% = 0.05
Q: What if I need to convert a large percentage? Is there an easy way to do it?
A: Yes! When converting more significant percentages (>100%), remember that anything over 100% is simply equal to 1 or 100%. So, if you’re ever stuck trying to convert a large percent (>100%), you need to remove any zeroes after the first two digits in your number and then add a decimal point before those remaining digits. For example:
800% = 8 => 8.00 = 8 => 8 = 1 or 100%
1500% = 15 => 15.00 = 15 => 15 = 1 or 100%
2% = 0.02 3% = 0.03 85%=0.85 97%=0.97 350%=3.50 999%=9.99
Q: Do I need to reduce my decimal to the lowest terms before I can convert it to a percent?
A: Not necessarily. When converting a decimal to a percent, you will multiply the decimal by 100. This process will automatically convert your decimal into its percent equivalent. However, if you’re asked to express your answer as a “reduced percent,” you will need to reduce your decimal to the lowest terms before multiplying by 100.
Now that you know how to convert percentages to decimals (and vice versa!), you’re well on your way to understanding and solving problems that involve percentages. Just remember, when you’re asked to convert a percent to a decimal, all you need to do is remove the “%” sign and move the decimal point two places to the left. Practice makes perfect, so try some conversion problems on your own, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro!