I am totally confused as to the right use of "percentage"! I have seen certain of the following in various texts, I do not know whichever I can safely use in my own text, though.

Which of the following is/are absolutely correct, academically speaking?

  1. The percentage of x and y
  2. The percentages of x and y
  3. The percentage of x and of y
  4. The percentages of x and of y

Secondly, shall I use plural or singular verbs after it/them? Thank you.


One example on the Merriam-Webster site is:

The percentages of women completing high school and college were 95 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

After looking at several sources, I think this applies best to your situation since you are discussing data.

This would indicate using number 2 in your questions (and adding respectively to be more precise) is the most correct answer.

I could imagine examples may look like this:

  • The percentages of x and y were increased and decreased, respectively.
  • The percentages of x and y were fifteen and sixty, respectively.
  • The percentages of x and y both increased by nine.
  • 1
    Please provide evidence to support your answer. Note that this site is a bit different from other Q&A sites: an answer is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct - preferably by quoting a reference (e.g. dictionary definition) hyperlinked to the source. You can add this detail by using the edit link; without this detail, your answer can only be considered as your personal opinion. For further guidance, see How to Answer. I can also recommend taking the Tour. :-) – Chappo Sep 15 '18 at 14:24

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