# A number between 0 and 1 - like a percentage but expressed as a decimal [closed]

I'm looking for a word to replace "percentage" for numbers between 0 and 1.

To explain: what I'm actually dealing with are decimals (like `0.12`), semantically however they serve the purpose of percentages (the equivalent here being `12%`, obviously).

So my number between 0 and 1 is not a percentage but a _______. Any ideas?

This question is similar, but has a different focus; it allows for multiple words, whereas mine needs a single word.

• Jan 5 '15 at 15:08
• proportion is one commonly used term for this (as one of the answers to the linked question points out.). If they represent probabilities, use that. Jan 5 '15 at 15:24
• @EFrog: If you name it percent, don't come complaining if I jam a value of 27.5 in your variable and break your code. In good programming, you give your variables a meaningful name. Jan 5 '15 at 15:31
• @EFrog: if, as the OP states, a value of 0.12 represents 12%, then percent is a terrible name for your variable. If the value 12 would represent 12%, it would be very meaningful. And naming variables anything you feel like just because you can is a terrible idea and the most common reason why programmers want to kill their predecessors. Jan 5 '15 at 15:38
• @EFrog So if on a website that you have to fill out, titled, for example, “Density (in percent)”, you would write “0.12” and expect that to mean a density of 12%? That may make sense to a mathematician, but it makes no sense to me. If a variable named percent or percentage is 0.12, the natural assumption is that it represents 0.12%, or 0.0012. Jan 5 '15 at 15:51

Numbers between 0 and 1 are fractions, and fractions expressed as a decimal are decimal fractions.

decimal fraction

a fraction (as .25 = 25100 or .025 = 251000) or mixed number (as 3.025 = 3251000) in which the denominator is a power of 10 usually expressed by use of the decimal point.

Merriam-Webster

• Ratio might also be appropriate. Jan 5 '15 at 15:14
• @KitFox: with ratio my first question is of what to what? It seems in this case, the answer is always something to one. It is a ratio, but not very meaningful... Jan 5 '15 at 15:33
• As fractions may be proper (numerator less than denominator) or improper, it may be helpful to qualify the numbers between 0 and 1 as proper fractions. The improper fraction 7/3 is by definition a fraction; however, it is not between 0 and 1. Jan 5 '15 at 17:23
• Nice answer but two words ... Jan 6 '15 at 1:47
• Or the word “proportion,” meaning “a number considered in comparative relation to a whole.” Jan 26 at 18:21

From a pure linguistics perspective, the answer is "percent".

In mathematics, a percentage is a number or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100. [wikipedia]

0.12 and 12% are as equivalent, as 0.1234 and 12.34% are. If the numbers you are expressing are proportional then percent is as valid as anything else.