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|Interpreting Percentages for Dummies|
|Written by Art|
|Thursday, 25 March 2010 03:35|
As election is fast approaching, I think now is the best opportunity to brush up on a little math. We often hear, “Noynoy is up by 10%”, then the following day, “Noynoy is up by 5%”. We won’t be surprised why other people would react, “Pucha kahapon 10% tapos ngayon 5% na lang? Ano kaya yun nabawasan? Daya! Daya! Luto!” –wag kang tanga!
From the latin words per meaning “by” and centum meaning “100”. In numeric value this means 1/100. I myself am not good in math, but this stuff is very basic. Something that you would have learned in 5th grade (that is if you’re listening).
Let’s do this through a very common example. Say you were given 1 whole pizza (not 2, or any other number, but just ONE) your percentage is your “share” of the whole pizza. If you and your brother were to be given equal shares then each of you would get 50%, as if you add 50% + 50% you would get 100%.
Let’s use the same example on a different scenario, one where it’s not equal sharing. There are 4 of you in your family, your father likes pizza so he gets 50%, your mom just wants a small portion so she gets 10%, (your brother and you only have 40% to divide between yourselves), your brother just finished lunch so he decides to get only 10%, guess how many percent is left for you… that’s right, 30%! Why not 40%? Because if you add all your shares together you will have more than 100%. You cannot have more than 100%, because your dad only bought 1 pizza, just ONE. On the decimal perspective this means 1.00. 50% is 0.50 and so on. Therefore, if your dad wants 60%, you cannot demand 70% for that would equal to 1.30 and remember, you only have ONE PIZZA (1.00)!
Now let’s move up to a more practical example, say PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! The most important thing to remember is, NO MATTER HOW MANY VOTES THERE ARE, IT WILL ALWAYS REPRESENT ONE (1.00) as obviously, there can only be one president. If in the 1st day of counting Noynoy was able to get 755,123 votes, and Villar was able to get 1,755,863 the total count would be 2,510,968. In this scenario,
Total number of votes 2,510,968 /2,510,968 = 1.00 (100%)
On the 2nd day, an additional 2,535,540 votes were tabulated. 767,400 were for Villar and 1,768,140 were for Noynoy.
Total number of votes 5,046,526 /5,046,526 = 1.00 (100%)
NOTICE that even if there was an additional 767,400 for Villar, his percentage went down from 69.93% to 50%. DON’T BE SURPRISED! As Noynoy was able to get 1,768,140 for day 2, of course Villar’s percentage would go down (Yes, even if he got additional votes). This just means that Villar is getting a lesser share of the pizza now and Noynoy is getting more.
So, if in day 3, Villar was able to get an additional 1 million votes (but Noynoy got an additional 1.5 million) Villar’s percentage would surely go down (as Noynoys’s percentage went up). BASIC PRINCIPLE: In 2 opposing parties, percentages are inversely proportional. If one party increases, the other party decreases. Why? Because you’re just sharing 1 pizza!
The moral of this lesson is not math but what our parents used to tell us when we were younger: “Sabi na kasing mag-aral, hindi puro banda!”… “wag kang lumaking mangmang!” Now notice the difference, “Mismo ka nga, pero sa tanda mong yan, umaasa ka pa rin sa mga magulang mo. Ako hindi mismo, pero binubuhay ko pamilya ko.”
Wag maging mangmang, bumoto ng wasto!