How To Convert Percentages to Decimals The Easy Way

Hey there, stats enthusiast! So, you’ve got a percentage and want to convert it to a decimal, huh? You’re in luck! Today, we’re going to show you how to convert percentages to decimals using three different ways: manually, in Excel, and in R.

Don’t worry, it’s simpler than it sounds! Let’s dive right in.

Convert Percentages to Decimals Manually

Manually converting percentages to decimals is a piece of cake! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Take your percentage (say, 45%).
  2. Drop the percentage symbol (%).
  3. Divide the number by 100 (45 ÷ 100).
  4. Voila! You’ve got your decimal (0.45).

Here’s another example for good measure: 95% -> 95 ÷ 100 = 0.95. Easy, right?

But wait, there’s more! What if you have a percentage with a decimal, like 37.5%? No problem! Just follow the same steps:

  1. Drop the percentage symbol (37.5).
  2. Divide the number by 100 (37.5 ÷ 100).
  3. Bam! You’ve got your decimal (0.375).

And that’s all there is to it! Now, let’s move on to converting percentages to decimals in Excel.

Convert Percentages to Decimals in Excel

Excel is not only great for making fancy tables but also for effortlessly converting percentages to decimals. Here’s how you can perform this magic trick:

  1. Open Excel and type your percentage into a cell (e.g., A1).
  2. Click on an empty cell (e.g., B1) where you want the decimal to appear.
  3. Type this formula into the cell: =A1/100.
  4. Press Enter and watch the magic happen! Your decimal will appear (e.g., 0.45).
Convert Percentages to Decimals in Excel formula. Source:

That’s it! Excel has done the work for you. If you have multiple percentages to convert, copy the formula to the other cells. For example, if you have percentages in cells A2 and A3, copy the formula from B1 to B2 and B3.

But what if your percentages are formatted as text and have the percentage symbol (e.g., “45%“)? No worries! Just tweak the formula a little:

  1. Type this formula into the cell: =LEFT(A1, LEN(A1)-1)/100.
  2. Press Enter, and there’s your decimal (e.g., 0.45).

The LEFT and LEN functions remove the percentage symbol before dividing by 100. Easy peasy!

Convert Percentages to Decimals in Excel using =Left and =Len. Source:

Convert Percentages to Decimals in R

If you’re an R aficionado, you’ll be happy to know that converting percentages to decimals in R is super straightforward. Let’s see how it’s done:

  1. Fire up R or RStudio and create a variable with your percentage as a string (e.g., percentage <- "45%").
  2. Remove the percentage symbol using the gsub function: percentage_no_symbol <- gsub("%", "", percentage).
  3. Convert the string to a numeric value with the as.numeric function: percentage_numeric <- as.numeric(percentage_no_symbol).
  4. Divide the numeric value by 100 to get your decimal: decimal <- percentage_numeric / 100.
  5. Print your decimal: print(decimal).

There you have it! Your decimal will be displayed in the console (e.g., 0.45).

Here’s the whole process in a neat little script:

percentage <- "45%"
percentage_no_symbol <- gsub("%", "", percentage)
percentage_numeric <- as.numeric(percentage_no_symbol)
decimal <- percentage_numeric / 100

Now, what if you have a vector of percentages to convert? No problem! R’s got your back:

  1. Create a vector with your percentages as strings (e.g., percentages <- c("45%", "37.5%", "90%")).
  2. Remove the percentage symbols using the gsub function: percentages_no_symbol <- gsub("%", "", percentages).
  3. Convert the strings to numeric values with the as.numeric function: percentages_numeric <- as.numeric(percentages_no_symbol).
  4. Divide the numeric values by 100 to get your decimals: decimals <- percentages_numeric / 100.
  5. Print your decimals: print(decimals).

And that’s it! The console will display your decimals (e.g., 0.45, 0.375, 0.9).

Here’s the complete script for converting a vector of percentages to decimals:

percentages <- c("45%", "37.5%", "90%")
percentages_no_symbol <- gsub("%", "", percentages)
percentages_numeric <- as.numeric(percentages_no_symbol)
decimals <- percentages_numeric / 100

In conclusion, no matter if you’re tackling the task manually, using Excel, or diving into R, converting percentages to decimals is a walk in the park! But hold your horses, we’re not done yet! There’s more pre-statistics knowledge you’ll want to get familiar with before leaping into the captivating realm of statistics. Stay tuned, and we’ll help you master those skills in no time!

Leonard Cucos
Leonard Cucos

Leonard is a Ph.D. student in Data Science and holds an MBA and B.Sc. He has an impressive public speaking profile on education, engineering, and research. He loves to help students achieve their academic objectives and believes education is the key to building a better future for mankind.

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