Converting Percentages, Decimals, and Fractions

Learn all about converting decimals, as well as converting percentages and fractions, in this free basic math lesson.

Percents and decimals

Knowing how to convert percents and decimals will help you calculate things like sales tax and discounts. To learn how, check out our Percentages in Real Life lesson.

Converting a percent into a decimal

Converting a percent into a decimal is surprisingly easy. It only takes a few simple steps.

Click through the slideshow to learn how to convert a percent into a decimal.

Why does this work?

Converting percents into decimals is so easy that you may feel like you've missed something. But don't worry—it really is that simple! Here's why the method we showed you works.

When we turn a percent into a decimal, we're actually doing two steps. First, we convert our percent into a fraction. Since all percents are out of 100, we just put the percent over 100, like this:

78% = 78/100

In the second step, we convert 78/100 into a decimal. You already know this means we'll divide the numerator by the denominator, like this:

78 ÷ 100 = 0.78

So why didn't we show you these steps in the slideshow? Because you can get the answer without them. You know that all percents are out of 100, so you can skip making the percent into a fraction. You have to divide the percent by 100 to get a decimal, but there's a quick way to do that. Just move the decimal point two spaces to the left! This way, you can get the same answer with just one easy step.

Try This!

Convert these percents into decimals.

Converting a decimal into a percent

Now we'll reverse what you just learned. Let's convert a decimal into a percent.

Click through the slideshow to see how to convert a decimal into a percent.

Try This!

Calculate these decimals as percents.