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Converting Fractions

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The concept of percent permeates most common uses of mathematics in everyday life. We pay

taxes based on percents, many people earn income as a percent sales commission, investments

and banks compare alternatives using percent, and sports team records are represented as a

percent. A percent is a ratio compared with 100. When we pay 7.25% sales tax, we pay $7.25

tax for every $100 in sales price. As a ratio, this can be written as:

$7.25 tax

= 0.0725

$100 price

Since the denominator of a percent is 100, we can easily convert percents to decimals by

dividing by 100. Recall this involves moving the decimal point two place values to the left.

Similarly, we can convert percents to reduced fractions. Given the percent 25%, we convert to

fraction:

25% =

Example 1

a.

b.

c.

d.

Solution

25

25 1 1

=

=

100 25 4 4

28% to a fraction

19.8% to a decimal

3.5% to a fraction

325% to a decimal

a.

28

47

7

28% =

=

=

100 4 25 25

b.

19.8

19.8% =

= 0.198

100

c.

3.5 10

35

57

7

3.5% =

=

=

=

100 10 1000 5 200 200

372

d.

325

325% =

= 3.25

100

Since percents are used so frequently to compare different ratios, we often want to convert ratios

7

(or fractions) to percents. Suppose we want to convert the fraction

to a percent. Recall that a

8

x

percent is a ratio with a denominator of 100. Thus we want to find the value of x such that

100

7

is equivalent to the original fraction . We solve the proportion:

8

x

7

=

100 8

x

7

200

= 200

100

8

2x = 175

175

x=

= 87.5%

2

The fraction

Example 2

7

is equivalent to 87.5%.

8

a.

3

4

b.

c.

2

3

d.

1

2

5

6

373

Solution

a.

x

3

=

100 4

x

3

100

= 100

100

4

x = 75%

3

Thus = 75% .

4

b.

First write 4

c.

x

2

=

100 3

x

2

300

= 300

100

3

3x = 200

200

2

x=

= 66 %

3

3

2

2

Thus = 66 % .

3

3

1

9

as the fraction . Solving the proportion:

2

2

x

9

=

100 2

x

9

100

= 100

100

2

x = 450%

1

Thus 4 = 450% .

2

374

d.

5

17

as the fraction

. Solving the proportion:

6

6

x

17

=

100 6

x

17

300

= 300

100

6

3x = 850

First write 2

x=

Thus 2

850

1

= 283 %

3

3

5

1

= 283 % .

6

3

Converting a decimal to a percent is extremely easy. Given the decimal 0.824, we are looking for

x

the ratio

which is equivalent to 0.824. Setting up the equation:

100

x

= 0.824

100

x

100

= 100 0.824

100

x = 82.4%

Thus 0.824 = 82.4%. Note that, in effect, we are merely multiplying the decimal by 100 to

convert it to a percent.

Example 3

a.

b.

c.

d.

0.569

0.75

1.671

0.0084

375

Solution

a.

x

= 0.569

100

x

100

= 100 0.569

100

x = 56.9%

Thus 0.569 = 56.9%.

b.

x

= 0.75

100

x

100

= 100 0.75

100

x = 75%

Thus 0.75 = 75%.

c.

x

= 1.671

100

x

100

= 100 1.671

100

x = 167.1%

Thus 1.671 = 167.1%.

d.

x

= 0.0084

100

x

100

= 100 0.0084

100

x = 0.84%

Thus 0.0084 = 0.84%.

376

Example 4

Mr. Jones pays $12,480 income tax for $46,520 in taxable income. Find his

income tax rate, expressed as a percent rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Solution

income tax

. So, we want to find the ratio

taxable income

$12, 480

x

which is equivalent to

. Setting up and solving the proportion:

$46,520

100

x

12, 480

=

100 46,520

x

12480

465200

= 465200

100

46520

4652x = 124800

124800

! 26.83%

4652

Mr. Jones income tax rate is approximately 26.83%.

x=

In the previous example note that, in solving the proportion, we did not use the LCM of 46520

and 100. Instead, we used a convenient number which we knew would clear fractions in the

equation. This is common practice in solving percent proportion applications, since the numbers

are often fairly large and finding the LCM can be time consuming.

Example 5

At one point of the season, the San Francisco Giants had won 26 games and

lost 14 games. Express their win to games played ratio as a percent.

Solution

First note that they have played 26 + 14 = 40 games. Their win to games played

26

x

ratio is

, which we want to express as a percent

. Setting up and solving

40

100

the proportion:

x

26

=

100 40

x

26

200

= 200

100

40

2x = 130

130

x=

= 65%

2

The Giants winning percent is 65%. For baseball fans, note that this is equivalent

to 0.650, which is how these winning percents are represented in the media.

377

Example 6

A car salesperson earns $662.50 commission on the sale of a car with a purchase

price of $26,500. If her commission rate is a percent based on the purchase price,

find the salespersons commission rate expressed as a percent.

Solution

commission

. We want to find the

purchase price

$662.50

x

which is equivalent to

. Setting up and solving the

$26, 500

100

proportion:

x

662.50

=

100 26500

x

662.50

26500

= 26500

100

26500

265x = 662.50

ratio

662.5

= 2.5%

265

The salespersons commission rate is 2.5%.

x=

Terminology

percent

Convert each percent to a fraction. Be sure to reduce all answers.

1.

3.

5.

7.

9.

11.

13.

15.

35%

48%

90%

2.5%

6.5%

1.25%

175%

500%

2.

4.

6.

8.

10.

12.

14.

16.

378

75%

56%

24%

19.8%

4.4%

0.8%

240%

320%

17.

19.

21.

23.

25.

27.

84%

3.5%

175%

600%

0.9%

0.06%

18.

20.

22.

24.

26.

28.

50%

6.5%

240%

850%

0.5%

0.08%

29.

31.

1

2

3

8

30.

32.

1

4

5

1

16

4

9

5

6

1

3

3

5

2

7

1

4

5

8

3

4

9

2

16

7

9

4

7

1

4

6

4

3

11

33. 6

34. 4

35.

36.

37.

39.

41.

43.

38.

40.

42.

44.

45.

47.

49.

51.

53.

55.

57.

0.348

0.65

3.28

5.064

0.0569

0.00468

0.0005419

46.

48.

50.

52.

54.

56.

58.

379

0.215

0.25

1.16

3.048

0.0498

0.00517

0.0004906

59. A small business pays $13,860 tax for $93,500 in taxable income. Find their tax rate,

expressed as a percent rounded to the nearest hundredth.

60. A small business pays $22,691 tax for $121,640 in taxable income. Find their tax rate,

expressed as a percent rounded to the nearest hundredth.

61. You pay $56.25 sales tax on a purchase of $1250. Find the sales tax rate, expressed

as a percent.

62. You pay $55.90 sales tax on a purchase of $860. Find the sales tax rate, expressed

as a percent.

63. A salesperson earns $1,467 commission on sales of $32,600. If the commission is

based on the sales, find the salespersons commission rate expressed as a percent.

64. A salesperson earns $2,250 commission on sales of $125,000. If the commission is

based on the sales, find the salespersons commission rate expressed as a percent.

65. A company has 23 full-time employees and 17 part-time employees. What percent of

its employees are full-time employees?

66. A small hot dog stand makes 125 jumbo dogs and 75 chili dogs for a baseball game.

What percent of its hot dogs made are chili dogs?

67. During one week, Frank has cleaning orders for 275 shirts and 125 pants. What

percent of his cleaning orders are pants?

68. During one day, Todd makes 18 business-related phone calls and 22 personal phone

calls. What percent of his phone calls are personal calls?

69. During a playoff game, Michael Jordan made 19 shots out of 32 shot attempts.

Express his shots made as a percent of shot attempts.

70. During a playoff game, Kobe Bryant made 15 shots out of 25 shot attempts. Express

his shots made as a percent of shot attempts.

71. At one point of the season, the Chicago Cubs had won 32 games and lost 38 games.

Express their win to games played ratio as a percent, rounded to the tenths place.

72. At the end of a season, the Atlanta Braves had won 102 games and lost 60 games.

Express their win to games played ratio as a percent, rounded to the tenths place.

73. An experimental asthma drug is tested on 429 people, and 391 show improvement.

What percent of the tested people showed improvement? Round your answer to the

nearest tenth of a percent.

74. An experimental chemotherapy drug is tested on 1200 people, and 965 show decrease

in cancer levels. What percent of the tested people showed decrease in cancer levels?

Round your answer to the nearest tenth of a percent.

75. A large computer manufacturer reduces prices of its computers from $1400 to $1190.

Express the ratio of amount of price decrease to original price as a percent.

76. A cellular phone company reduces prices of its phones from $120 to $103.20. Express

the ratio of amount of price decrease to original price as a percent.

380

77. An investment earns $380 profit on an investment of $2,000. Express the profit to

investment ratio as a percent.

78. An investment earns $900 profit on an investment of $5,000. Express the profit to

investment ratio as a percent.

381

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