Increase or Decrease?

by | Oct 7, 2020

Life is riddled with change. Prices will go down or up. Birth rates can rise or decline. From year to year, the number of students at a school can change. The list continues and continues. To demonstrate if a number has changed in comparison to the initial amount, we sometimes define change as a percentage. Describing change as a percentage allows you to see whether the change is minor or significant more easily. For instance, understanding the percentage by which the population of a school has risen could be more beneficial. If it rose by 60%, that’s a significant change that will have a big impact on the school. If the rise is just 2 percent, the school would not be impacted too much. In contrast with the original number, the change written as a percentage gives you a better idea of the change.

Determining whether the change is an increase or a decrease is fairly clear. If the new number is greater than the original, it is called a “percent increase.” If the new amount is less than the original, it is called a “percent decrease.”

There is more than one way for a percentage increase or decrease to be measured. Chances are you’ll find a list of steps to take if you google how to locate the percentage of change.   Be sure that you follow the instructions, because it’s not just a process that you want to memorize and forget easily.

One way to find a percent of change is to use the formula: New Amount – Original Amount    Original Amount. You will then change the decimal answer into a percent by moving the decimal two places to the left.

Here’s an example:  The cost of a jacket went from $5 to $6. What is the percentage change in the price of the jacket?

Step 1: Calculate the change (subtract old value from the new value)
Example: $6 – $5 = $1.

Step 2: Divide that change by the old value (you will get a decimal number)
$1 / $5 = 0.2

Step 3: Convert that to a percentage (by multiplying by 100 and adding a “%” sign)
0.2 x 100 = 20%

The percentage change in the price of the jacket is an increase of 20%. (When the new value is greater than the old value, it is a percentage increase, otherwise it is a decrease.)