Should there be a space before a percent sign or not? Should you write 20% or 20 %?
I'm not sure if there is any consensus about this or not. Is one way more common than the other?
According to Wikipedia there is no consensus on this in English:
There may be no consensus among the standards bodies, but outside of technical writing at least, it doesn't matter what the ISO says. Modern U.S. usage overwhelmingly uses no space. Note that Wikipedia uses no space, as in the article for Percentage.
As a demonstration, one can download the first billion bytes of an English Wikipedia database dump (commonly used as a test file for data compression benchmarks):
and count the (approximate) number of occurrences of
(The first 1 usages of
On efficacy measures, a successful antidepressant trial involves just 50 % or mo signifies a mere 50 % or greater reduction in depression symptoms as opposed to * '''Beta brasses''', with 45-50 % zinc content, can only be worked hot, is hard * '''White brass''' contains more than 50 % zinc and is too brittle for general was very profitable for the V.O.C., initially yielding profits of 50 % or even m s 40 to 50 % of the capacity of the elevator. The grooves in the drive sheave ar nt process, usually requiring at least 50 % more electricity than the energy sto 50 % and this in turn affected both the trade-in value of used vehicles and the er molecules. Water containing 50 % H and 50 % D actually contains about 50 % HD he 1980s. About 50 % of these moves were within the same prefecture; the others
50% higher than nearby forested areas because snow does not cover the trees as <table border=0 cellpadding=2 cellspacing=2 width=50%> Afghanistan as being [[Persian language|Persian]] (local name: [[Dari]]) 50% an Note: Albania has a large gray economy that may be as large as 50% of official G rriages occur very early in a pregnancy. Approximately 10-50% of pregnancies end tal, and a 20% increase since 1981, 50% since 1971. Major towns are Peterhead (1 MND is typically fatal within 2-5 years. Around 50% die within 14 months of diag nosis. The remaining 50% will not necessarily die within the next 14 months as t n up to 50% of SOD1 cases. In people of [[Scandinavia]]n extraction there is a r [[Cognitive]] change can and does occur in between 33–50% of patients.
When the symbol % is used, there should be no space. When the "percent" word is used, there should be space.
Examples from the Chicago Manual of Style Online:
The manual explicitly advices the following:
I am not sure about English, but in Czech the rule is to write it with a space, as the percent symbol is sort of a unit symbol. And the general rule for units (even English) is to write them with a space, such as 5 m (5 meters) or 42 A (42 Amperes).
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