A positive answer indicates a percent increase, and a negative answer indicates a percent decrease.

Read below to learn more.

Great question! Here’s a chart of some common words associated with initial and final value:

Initial Value

from

start (with)

at first, originally

were, was

used to be

Final Value

to

end (with)

now

are, is

changed to

Keep in mind that there are many other words that could be used.

Read below to learn more.

Excellent question! Percent increase is a description of how much something has increased based on the initial value.

We use percent increase to better understand how big an increase in value is.

For example, an increase from 2 to 4 may seem like the same as an increase from 1 to 3.

But, percent increase would tell us that going from 1 to 3 is TRIPLING the starting value, while going from 2 to 4 is only doubling it.

Read below to learn more.

Excellent question! Percent decrease is a description of how much something has decreased based on the initial value.

We use percent decrease to better understand how big a decrease in value is.

For example, a decrease from 4 to 2 may seem like the same as a decrease from 6 to 4.

But, percent decrease would tell us that going from 4 to 2 is taking away half the initial value, while going from 6 to 4 is taking away LESS than half the value.

Read below to learn more.

The Percent Change Equation

When you go shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll probably see coupons like “$50%$ off select items!” or “$25%$ off your entire order!”

These coupons are examples of percent change. We use percent change when an increase or decrease in value is based on the starting, or initial, value.

50% off tells us that if the initial value is $100, the final value is $50, which is a decrease of $50. If the initial value is $200, the final value is $100, which is a decrease of $100. The value of the decrease isn't always the same, but the percent decrease does stay the same.

The following fraction gives us the portion of the initial value that changed:

$initialfinal−initial $

We know we need to multiply decimals by $100$ to change them to percents, so the percent change formula is equal to:

Percent change can be positive or negative. If our final value is bigger than our initial value, then we have a percent increase, and our percent change is positive.

If our final value is smaller than our initial value, we have a percent decrease, and our percent change is negative.

Our Percent Change Calculator below can help you solve for percent change, whether you're calculating percent increase or percent decrease, and can also help you find the initial or final values.

Percent Change Calculator

What is your unknown variable?

What is the percent change from to ?

First, let’s identify our known and unknown variables for the problem you entered: What is the percent change from to ?

To isolate $x$, we’ll multiply both sides by then divide both sides by $100$

$×=(−)×100 ×$$100× =100(−)×100 $$undefined=−$

Let’s simplify the left side before continuing:

Now we can add $x$ to both sides:

Next, let’s factor and combine our $x$ terms:

Click the 🏆 when you’re ready to see the answer!

$x=NaN%$

Remember! A positive value means percent increase, and a negative value means percent decrease.

If you want a more thorough explanation of each section with percent change practice problems, check out the sections below.

The more 🔥 the section has, the harder it will be, but we’re positive you can handle the heat! When you’re ready to level up, click the mysterious button at the bottom to explore some real-world applications of percent change!

Ready to level up?

Percent Change in Voter Turnout

Percent increase and decrease tell us how things change, and in the real world, they are often used to determine the effects of certain policies. For example, voting is an important part of any democracy. Even if you can’t vote, the results of elections can affect how much medicine costs, how much you get paid, and even what classes your school teaches.

Because voting is so powerful sometimes, politicians who fear losing power create unfair policies and practices that prevent certain people from voting. This is often referred to as voter suppression. Using percent increase and decrease can help us determine the effects of voter suppression.

Let's look at this data from Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida. We’ve rounded the numbers a little, but the table below shows the number of Black voters (in thousands) that voted early during the $2012$ and $2016$ presidential elections in four different states:

State

Early Voters in $2012$ (thousands)

Early Voters in $2016$ (thousands)

Florida

$760$

$777$

Georgia

$636$

$660$

Louisiana

$118$

$140$

North Carolina

$754$

$688$

Which of these states had a decrease in early voter turnout between $2012$ and $2016$?

That’s exactly right! Of these four states, North Carolina was the only one whose early voter turnout decreased.

In $2013$, North Carolina passed a Voter ID law that required stricter voter ID, removed certain voting locations, and made early voting periods shorter. The law was struck down just before the $2016$ presidential election, but many suspected it would still affect voter turnout.

To see the effects of the Voter ID Law, let’s calculate the percent change for the number of early Black voters in North Carolina:

=

( - ) $×100$

Amazing job! Our initial number was $754$, and our final was $688$. Now we just need to perform the calculations. Click the 🏆 when you’re ready to reveal the answer

The number of Black voters who voted during the early voting period in North Carolina decreased by$8.7%$ between the $2012$ and $2016$ elections. According to the ACLU, in North Carolina, about $70%$ of Black voters voted early in $2008$ and $2012$, so the $2013$ law would have had the largest effect on Black voters in the state.

Looking at the table, we can see that the number of Black voters who voted early increased in the other three states between $2012$ and $2016$. Since Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia did not change their early voting laws during this time, this data might lead us to believe that the $2013$ law led to voter suppression in North Carolina.

Why does voter suppression exist?

The United States has a long history of voter suppression. By preventing certain groups of people from voting, lawmakers can ensure certain candidates continue winning elections. BIPOC individuals, women, people with disabilities, and people of lower-income are among those most likely to be affected by voter suppression.

Unfortunately, the Voter ID Law in North Carolina is just one example of a voter suppression law, and unlike in North Carolina, many of these laws are still in place today.

Determining the effects these laws have on voters can be important in changing them. For example, in the case of North Carolina, the Voter ID Law was struck down after data showed it targeted Black voters with "surgical precision."

Combatting voter suppression can be difficult, but there are ways to help even if you can’t vote yet. For example, you can work with local organizations that help others register to vote. Some states even allow $16$- and $17$-year-olds to work at the polls on Election Day. You can also help by creating posters telling others how to vote, volunteering to babysit for neighbors so they have time to vote, making sure your family is registered to vote, and more.

You can visit the ACLU to learn more about voter suppression and different ways to combat it.

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