Percentage Point Calculator

Created by Tibor Pal, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Jack Bowater
Last updated: May 09, 2022

The percentage point calculator is a simple tool to find the percentage point difference between two percentages. In addition, you can also learn what is a percentage point and how to calculate the percentage of points.

Read further - we answer the following questions:

  • What is a percentage point (percent vs. percentage point)?
  • How do you calculate percentage points?
  • What is the difference between percentage points and percent?
  • How do you convert basis points into percentages?

What is a percentage point?

A percentage point (or percent point) is the unit for the arithmetic difference of two percentages. For example, climbing from 20 percent to 25 percent indicates a 5 percentage points increase, but a 25-percent increase (or percentage difference) the given values. You may often find the unit written in its complete form (point or points) or with a percentage points abbreviation, typically p.p. or pp.

We can also state absolute change in terms of percentage points, for example, the value of the indicator in period 2 minus that in period 1.

How do you calculate percentage points?

Calculating percentage points is a straightforward mathematical operation: you need to take the two percentages' arithmetic differences. Let's take a simple example: the unemployment rate was 5 percent in 2019 and 7 percent in 2020.

  1. Highlight the percentages you need to compare:

    2019 (Percentage #1): 5%
    2020 (Percentage #2): 7%

  2. Subtract Percentage #1 from Percentage #2:

    Percentage points = Percentage #2 - Percentage #1 = 7 - 5 = 2.

  3. Add the unit (percentage point) and the direction of the change (increase if positive, decrease if negative, or simply state as difference) to the number:

    There was a 2 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate from 2019 to 2020. Or alternatively, there is a 2 percentage difference between unemployment rates in 2019 to 2020.

FAQ

What is the difference between percentage points and percent?

Both percentage points vs. percent are frequently used, but it's essential to distinguish the two concepts as they mean different things. Suppose that the unemployment rate increased from 4% to 6% - it's a 50 percent increase but a 2 percentage point increase.

The case is similar with percentage points vs. basis points. Since basis point is simply a different unit for percentage, percentage points and basis points are two completely different concepts.

Are points the same as percentages?

No. Even though it is easy to confuse their name, they refer to two different concepts. While percentage points indicate the absolute change between two percentages (Percentage B - Percentage A), the percentage refers to a relative change ((Percentage B - Percentage A) / Percentage A).

What percentage is 150 basis points?

You can determine the basis points as a percentage in decimal form by multiplying the basis points by 0.0001 (150 × 0.0001 = 0.015). To obtain its final percentage, you need to multiply the decimal by 100 (0.015 × 100 = 1.5%) or divide the basis point by 100 (150 / 100 = 1.5%). Therefore, 150 basis points are equivalent to 1.5%.

Tibor Pal, PhD candidate
Percent #1
%
Percent #2
%
Percentage point difference
pp
Percentage difference
%
Total value
Value #1
Value #2
Value difference
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