In math, the percentage and percentile of the term are two concepts that are often confused due to their similarity in spelling. However, these two terms denote completely different things. In order to understand the difference between percentage and percentile, it is necessary to know the meaning of each term separately.

Therefore, in this blog post, we will be discussing percentages and percentiles comprehensively covering their definitions, examples, pros and cons, importance, and much more.

**1. Percentage**

The word percentage is derived from the word ‘per centum’ which means per hundred in Latin. Therefore, a percentage is used to express a number as a fraction of 100. It is denoted by the symbol ‘%’. For example, if someone scored 80 marks out of 100, his percentage would be 80%. This can also be represented as 0.8 or 8/10. Thus, we can say that percentages are basically used for expressing a portion or share.

**2. Percentile**

The word percentile is also derived from the Latin word ‘Centesimus’ which means hundredth. Percentile is used to express the value below which a given percentage of observations falls. For example, if someone has scored 80 marks out of 100, then his percentile would be the value below which 80% of the observations fall. Thus, we can say that percentiles are basically used for expressing the rank of an observation.

Now that we have understood the meanings of percentage and percentile, let us see how these concepts differ.

**Percentage vs Percentile: Comprehending through meanings and examples**

As mentioned earlier, a percentage is used to express a number as a fraction of 100. In other words, it is used to express a proportion or share. On the other hand, the percentile is used to express the value below which a given percentage of observations falls. To put it simply, the percentile is used to express the rank of an observation.

**Let us take an example to understand this difference.**

If students of class score the following in math tests – 20,30,15 and 75, and the teacher wants to obtain the percentile rank of score 30, then going by the above mentioned, the teacher would first have to rank each number on a scale, in ascending order. Therefore, 1=15, 2=20, 3=30 and 4=75.

Now that there are 2 ranks before the number of the desired percentile, this number would be divided by the total number of values and then would be multiplied by 100. Hence, the percentile of 30 here would be 50.

Thus, it is clear from the above example that the percentile is used to express the rank of observation while the percentage is used to express a proportion or share.

**Percentage vs percentile: How these are used in real life?**

We often come across the percentage and percentile of the term in our day-to-day lives. For instance, when we go for a job interview, the interviewer may ask us what percent of the questions we answered correctly in the written test. Here, the interviewer is using the term percentage. Similarly, when we take a look at our report card, we can see that our marks are given in percentages. Thus, it is evident that percentages are used extensively in our daily lives.

On the other hand, percentiles are not used as frequently as percentages. However, they are still used in some aspects of our daily lives. For instance, when we take a look at our credit score, it is given in the form of a percentile. Similarly, when we take standardized tests like SAT or GMAT, our scores are also given in the form of percentiles.

**Comparison chart**

We have extensively discussed the basics of percentage and percentile however, it is crucial to know more about the differences they share. Here’s a table for you to comprehend more. Have a look.

Percentage | Percentile |

A percentage is a number or ratio expressed in 100. | Percentile is used in Statistics that indicate the relative value to compare the performance with others. |

The percentage can be expressed in decimals. | Percentiles cannot be expressed in decimals. |

The percentage is based on individual performance. | The percentile is based on relative performance. |

Percentage shows the rate. | The percentile shows the rank. |

The percentage does not compare to the given value. | Percentile helps to compare the given value with the given data. |

**That’s it**

While percentile can be considered to be a more accurate and informative measure than the percentage; however, it is not easy to calculate percentile as compared to percentage. Therefore, it all depends on the situation and what information the user is looking for. In some cases, the percentage might be more important while in other cases, the percentile might be more important. Nonetheless, there is often confusion between the percentage and percentile, but they are actually quite different.

An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,