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In mathematics, a percentage is a number or ratio as a fraction of 100. it is often denoted using the percent sign, “%”, or the abbreviation “pct. ” for example, 45% (read as “forty-five percent”) is equal to 45/100, or 0.45. a related system which expresses a number as a fraction of 1000 uses the terms "per mil" and "millage". percentages are used to express how large/small one quantity is, relative to another quantity.