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I’m writing a dissertation on network security. I’m unsure which of the following to use:

  1. ...89.9%, which is 57 million users.
  2. ...89.9%, which are 57 million users.

Technically it should be are because it refers to a plural amount of people, but it doesn’t sound right to me considering that 57 million is in a sense one group.

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The correct term is "which is". You are referring to the percentage (singular), so "89.9%, which is 57 million users" is the proper grammatical usage.

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  • you are not referring to the percentage but to 89.9 percent (plural)
    – Toothrot
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 18:23

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