Difference Between Percentage and Percentile

Percentage and percentile may seem to mean the same, but they are strikingly different. It is clear in our minds that both terms relate to mathematics and solve math-related questions.


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A percentage is a mathematics quantity while percentile is defined by the percentage value under a ranking system.

Percentage vs Percentile

The difference between percentage and percentile is that percentage can have quartiles while the percentile doesn’t have quartiles. Another aspect is that the percentage is always shown on a value of 100. Percentile shows the value of that percentage on a given ranking of a set group. Percentage directly presents the data of numbers based on the division of 100 and gives out information on ratio, decimal, and proportions.

Percentage vs Percentile

The percentile is relative to statistical usage to denote a comparison of many percentages based on an amount, set of people or a trend.

Comparison Tablee

Parameters of ComparisonPercentagePercentile
MeaningBased on one caseBased on a comparison of many cases
DistributionNot connected with any distribution among peopleRest on the normal distribution of people
PositionValue position out of 100Found below the value of the percentage

What is meant by Percentage?

A percentage can be understood through the use of denominators in order to calculate mathematical value systems of 100. The percentage is denoted by the use of a% symbol.

A percentage is important to standardize different quantities, marks, numbers, ratios, and proportions. Also, the percentage can be written in faction or decimals.

Example: if a student has scored 68 marks out of a score of 100 the student has got 68% marks in their math’s exam.

percentage 1

What is meant by Percentile?

Percentile is a concept that has its bases on the percentage understanding.  It is important to know the scoring of percentiles.  A percentile simple tells you how many people are at your score or below you.

A percentile is the percentage of values found. These values are often used in a ranking system. The values are further divided into the normal distribution of values.  Percentile cannot be shown as decimals as the ranking system doesn’t permit that.

For example, there are 40 students who appeared for an example including you. You secured 4th rank in that exam.  So there are 36 behind you.  Now say you are equal to the score of the 36 as well.

Hence, 36/40*100 – Your percentile is 90th


Main Differences Between Percentage and Percentile

Meaning and Distribution

A percentage is a measurement tool that calculates numbers out of 100.

Percentile is the mathematical value of percentage in order to find out the number value scored above or below a percentage

The distribution of a percent is very specific to one person and unique to them and cannot be evenly distributed in the masses.

The percentile is a comparison of various percentages in a given situation in a setting.

Hence a percentile can be said to be distributed among people while the percentage is not.

Rank and Symbol

The percentage symbol is quite easy to know and note. We work hard to get good percentages for our exams. Well, a percentage figure or number is denoted as ‘%’.

There is no particular symbol as such for connoting percentile, but it is denoted by a value noted.  Like the depiction of a percentile would be something like nth.

Here ‘n’ is any number rank of a percentile.

For example, if a student received 80th percentile as per the ranking that means there were 80% of students who received less than 80 percent of marks.

The percentage doesn’t have any ranks and they deal with the factual mathematical numerical data.

Ratio and Decimal

A percentage can have decimals and for sure has a ratio to come to derive to an answer.

Rank cannot be 1.4 or 1.5. We cannot say that I stood, 1.7 in my class.

The percentile would be either 1st or 2nd, right?

To give an example, we can easily derive a percentage of marks we got but we cannot weigh that marks received.

But at the same time; all the marks received in the class by all students can be weighed on the percentile ranking.

This will give out your rank too based on the students who scored the same as you or below you.

Quartiles and Position

The percentage does not deal with Quartiles.  Quartiles are similar to what implies when we say a quarter.

For example, 25th Percentile is called the first quartile, the 50th is called the second quartile, 75th is the third quartile and 100th is the fourth quartile.

The percentage is specific to one mathematical value that is unique to a person.

Percentile takes the aggregate of an entire group of people. Hence, the position of percentage is always out of 100.

The position of the percentile is found on or below the score received vis a vis a well-distributed group.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1328-8067.2001.01523.x
  2. https://academic.oup.com/biomet/article-abstract/58/2/349/263683
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