How To Calculate The Percentage Change In Excel

Calculating percentage change in Excel is a fundamental skill that comes in handy when analyzing data and tracking trends. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who loves working with numbers, understanding how to calculate percentage change can elevate your data analysis game. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of calculating percentage change in Excel, sharing some personal insights and tips along the way.

Understanding Percentage Change

Before diving into the Excel functions, it’s important to grasp the concept of percentage change. Percentage change, also known as percentage difference, represents the relative change between two numbers over a certain period of time. It’s calculated as the difference between the two numbers divided by the original number, multiplied by 100.

The Formula for Percentage Change

In mathematical terms, the formula for percentage change is:
((New Value - Old Value) / Old Value) * 100

Calculating Percentage Change in Excel

In Excel, we can use a simple formula to calculate percentage change. Let’s say we have the old value in cell A1 and the new value in cell A2. To calculate the percentage change, we can use the formula:
This formula subtracts the old value from the new value, divides it by the old value, and then multiplies the result by 100 to obtain the percentage change.

An Example for Clarity

To further illustrate, suppose A1 contains the value 200 and A2 contains the value 250. To find the percentage change, we would use the formula:
This simplifies to:
Giving us a percentage change of 25%.

Using the Percentage Change Function

Excel also provides a built-in function for calculating percentage change. The =PERCENTAGECHANGE function allows you to specify the old and new values, making the process more intuitive.

My Personal Tip

One thing I’ve learned from my experience is to always double-check the cell references when using formulas. Accidentally referencing the wrong cells can lead to incorrect results, so it’s important to pay close attention to your formula inputs.


Mastering the art of calculating percentage change in Excel opens up a world of data analysis possibilities. Whether it’s tracking financial growth, analyzing sales figures, or monitoring trends, the ability to accurately calculate percentage change is a valuable skill. With the simple formula and built-in function provided by Excel, you can effortlessly leverage this technique to gain meaningful insights from your data.