When working with data in Excel, you might need to start comparing numbers. The best way to see the difference in between those values is by calculating the percentage difference between them.
In this article, I’ll show you how to calculate the percentage difference between two numbers in Excel in the easiest possible way.
How to calculate the percentage difference?
To calculate the difference between two numbers, you have to subtract the original value from the new one and then divide that by the original number:
new value – original value)/(original value)
You can use that to calculate, for example, the price difference between that hoodie you wanted yesterday to today. If it was on sale for 30$ yesterday and today it costs 45$, its price has gone up by 50%.
(45 – 30)/30 = 0.50 = 50%
How to do it in Excel
In this example, we’ll use some random prices and calculate the difference between them.
Firstly, select the cell with the percentage difference
Then, type in the following formula and press Enter:
The result in the cell however isn’t formatted in percentages yet. To do that, we’ll again select the cell with the value we are using. In the ‘Home’ menu, go to the ‘Numbers’ section. First, press the ‘%’ button and then click the ‘.0->.00’ button. You can use ‘.0->.00’ and ‘.00->.0’ as many times as you need to control the precision of the values in the cell.
We now have the value in percentages with one decimal place shown.
Now we need to calculate the remaining values. To do that, we can either use the Ctrl+D shortcut after selecting all the cells or drag down the green dot from our selected cell through all the ones we wish to fill.
How to increase or decrease a number by a percentage
Now that we know how to calculate the percentage difference between two numbers, let’s learn to also change a number by a certain amount. To do that, you can use this simple formula:
Note that the percentage difference can be both positive and negative and it will still work just fine so if you want to decrease the original value by a percentage, you can just use a negative percentage.
And that’s it! The percentage differences between all our original and new values have been calculated.