Microsoft KB Archive/101168

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XL: Finding the Percentage of Change Between Values

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 2.x, 3.0, 4.0, 4.0a, 5.0, 5.0c
  • Microsoft Excel for OS/2, versions 2.2, 3.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 2.2, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 5.0a
  • Microsoft Excel for Windows 95, versions 7.0, 7.0a
  • Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows
  • Microsoft Excel 98 Macintosh Edition


In Microsoft Excel, there is no built-in function to calculate the percentage of change from one value to another. However, you can use the following formula to calculate the percentage change:


Original_value represents the value that the percentage of change is based on and new_value represents the value that has changed.

The following alternate formula may also be used:


To display the resulting value as a percentage value, format the cell containing the formula with a percentage format.



To see an example, follow these steps:

  1. In a new worksheet, enter the following values:

    A1: Sales for 1990     B1: Sales for 1991
    A2: $100,000           B2: $175,000
    A4: Percent Change     B4: =(B2-A2)/ABS(A2) 

    If you use the alternate formula, enter the formula "=(B2/A2)-1" (without the quotation marks) in cell B4.

  2. With cell B4 selected, choose Number from the Format menu and choose a percent format. (In Microsoft Excel 5.0 and later, click Cells on the Format menu, select the Number tab, and select a percent format.)

    You will see that the 1991 sales increased 75-percent over the sales for 1990. This is the percent of change.

Additional query words: 2.00 2.01 2.10 2.20 2.21 3.00 4.00 4.00a decrease difference 5.00 5.00a 5.00c 7.00 7.00a 97 98 XL98 XL97 XL7 XL5 XL4 XL3

Keywords : xlformula
Version : WINDOWS:2.0,3.0,4.0,5.0,7.0,97; MACINTOSH:2.2,3.0,4.0,5.0,98
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology :

Last Reviewed: April 6, 1999
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