How to Convert Percents to Decimals

Percents and decimals are very similar forms, so everything you know about decimals carries over when you're working with percents. All you need to do is convert your percent to a decimal, and you're good to go.

To change a whole-number percent to a decimal, simply replace the percent sign with a decimal point and then move this decimal point two places to the left; after this, you can drop any trailing zeros. Here are a few common conversions between percents and decimals:

100% = 1 75% = 0.75 50% = 0.5
25% = 0.25 20% = 0.2 10% = 0.1

Sometimes a percent already has a decimal point. In this case, just drop the percent sign and move the decimal point two places to the left. For instance, 12.5% = 0.125.

Sample questions

  1. Change 80% to a decimal.

    0.8. Replace the percent sign with a decimal point — changing 80% to 80 — and then move the decimal point two places to the left:

    80% = 0.80

    At the end, you can drop the trailing zero to get 0.8.

  2. Change 37.5% to a decimal.

    0.375. Drop the percent sign and move the decimal point two places to the left:

    37.5% = 0.375

Practice questions

  1. Change 90% to a decimal.

  2. A common interest rate on an investment such as a bond is 4%. Convert 4% to a decimal.

  3. Find the decimal equivalent of 99.44%.

  4. What is 243.1% expressed as a decimal?

Following are answers to the practice questions:

  1. 0.9. Replace the percent sign with a decimal point and then move this decimal point two places to the left:

    90% = 0.90

    At the end, drop the trailing zero to get 0.9.

  2. 0.04. Replace the percent sign with a decimal point and then move this decimal point two places to the left:

    4% = 0.04

  3. 0.9944. Drop the percent sign and move the decimal point two places to the left:

    99.44% = 0.9944

  4. 2.431. Drop the percent sign and move the decimal point two places to the left:

    243.1% = 2.431

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