You can use the following formula to calculate the percentage change between two numbers:
Percentage Change: (New Value – Old Value) / Old Value
In Excel, you can type the following formula:
This particular formula finds the percentage change between the values in cell B2 and C2 in which the new value is in cell C2 and the old value is in cell B2.
The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.
Example: Find Percentage of Two Numbers in Excel
Suppose we have the following dataset in Excel that shows the points scored in two different years by various basketball players:
Now suppose we would like to calculate the percentage change between year 1 and year 2 for each player.
To do so, we can type the following formula into cell D2:
Once we press Enter, the percentage change for the first player will be shown:
A value of 0.25 tells us that the value for points increased by 25% for Andy between year 1 and year 2.
We can manually verify this is correct by calculating the percentage change by hand:
- Percentage Change: (New Value – Old Value) / Old Value
- Percentage Change: (15 – 12) / 12
- Percentage Change: 0.25
We can then drag and fill this formula down to each remaining cell in column D:
A positive value in the % Change column indicates that the points value increased between the first and second year.
Conversely, a negative value indicates that the points value decreased between the first and second year.
Note that we can also format these values as percentages by highlighting the cell range D2:D11 and then clicking the % icon on the Home tab:
Each of the percentages will now be displayed as a percentage instead of a decimal:
The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel: