In this article, you'll learn how to use Excel to calculate percentage change, and also how to find the increase and decrease in percentage values.

Let's get into it.

## How to Calculate Percentage Change in Excel

To calculate percentage change in Excel, you'll need to use a formula.

For example, if you have two numbers, `ORIGINAL`

and `NEW`

, you can calculate percentage change with the following formula:

```
percentage change = (NEW - ORIGINAL) / ORIGINAL
```

Note: If the number you get is positive, for example, 0.2, then the percentage increased. If the number is negative, like -0.2, then the percentage decreased.

Let's take a look at an example:

**Question**

If your earnings are $1,250 in May and $1,750 in June, what is the percentage change?

**Solution**

```
(1,750 - 1,250) / 1250 = 0.4 or 40%
```

Now let's take a look at how to do this in Excel with a handful of data entries to better understand how Excel functions work:

*STEP 1*: Data Entry.

*STEP 2*: The Formula

In this case we will let A = Actual Price and B = Budget Price, so our formula will be: **A/B-1**. This formula will be entered in cell **D2**.

To execute the formula all we need to do is press 'Enter'. We will get our percentange change in decimal values like below:

*STEP 3*: How to add %.

To add the % sign we can either:

- Right click on the values and select '%', then drag the cursor down to apply changes to othe values. Or
- We can highlight the whole column '% Change' and select the % sign from the Home menu, under numbers in the work sheet.

And that's how to calculate percentage change in Excel.

Now let's go a step further and see how to calculate percentage increase and decrease.

## How to Calculate Percentage Increase in Excel

To calculate percentage increase, you'll again need two numbers, `ORIGINAL`

and `NEW`

.

Then use the same formula as above — subtract the original number, `ORIGINAL`

, from the new number, `NEW`

, and divide the sum by `ORIGINAL`

:

```
percentage increase = (NEW - ORIGINAL) / ORIGINAL
```

Note: If the number you get is negative, for example, -0.10, then the percentage actually decreased rather than increased.

**Question**

Your household bill was $100 in September, but increased to $125 in October. What is the percentage increase from September to October?

**Solution**

```
(125 - 100) / 100 = 0.25 or 25%
```

Now let's take a look at how to do this in Excel:

As you can see, the percentage increase between the two months is 0.25, or 25%.

To display your calculations as percentages, click the % sign in the main menu.

## How to Calculate Percentage Decrease in Excel

The method to calculate percentage decrease is very similar to calculating percentage increase.

The only difference is that you subtract the `ORIGINAL`

number from the `NEW`

number before dividing the sum by the `ORIGINAL`

number:

```
percentage decrease = (ORIGINAL - NEW) / ORIGINAL
```

Note: If the number you get is negative, for example, -0.10, then the percentage actually increased rather than decreased.

**Question**

In the previous year, your expenses were $500,000. This year, your expenses were $400,000. What is the percentage decrease of your expenses this year compared to last year?

**Solution**

```
(500,000 - 400,000) / 500,000 = 0.2 or 20%
```

And here's how to calculate percentage decrease in Excel:

Now that you know how to calculate percentage change, increase, and decrease in Excel, let's go over some common errors you might encounter.

## Common Excel Errors When Using Formulas

Here's a short list of common errors you might run into while using Excel formulas:

**#DIV/0!**: Occurs if you attempt to divide a number by zero**#VALUE**: Occurs when cells are left blank, or when a function is expecting a number but you pass it text instead**NUM!**: Occurs when a formula contains invalid numeric values

## Conclusion

Now you should know how to perform these calculations by hand, and how to use Excel to perform the same calculations.

Here's a quick recap of the formulas we covered:

`percentage change = (NEW - ORIGINAL) / ORIGINAL`

`percentage increase = (NEW - ORIGINAL) / ORIGINAL`

`percentage decrease = (ORIGINAL - NEW) / ORIGINAL`

And to get a better understanding of Excel features, here are some helpful links:

Happy Coding ❤