Watch the animation for calculating percentage increase and decrease, and then consider the question below.

Why use this technique? Is it appropriate?

  • We calculate percentage increase and decrease to show how much ‘increase’ or ‘decrease/loss’ there has been in a specific category over time.
  • By working out the percentage change it is easier to compare the change in a category over time e.g. population change.
  • Working out a percentage is much more understandable than looking at raw figures. It also means that data is more easily comparable.

Evaluate the strengths and limitations of calculating percentage change.


Strengths of calculating percentage change:-

  • When comparing the difference in change between categories, it is much easier to compare change as a percentage rather than raw figures, as the figures may be very different.
  • By using a percentage it is easier to see how big or small changes are.

Weaknesses of calculating percentage change:–

  • It can be quite a difficult calculation to work out as there are many steps.