Interesting Percentages

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Hmmm…there seems to be something drastically wrong with the math here.
No wonder we can’t see any shoppers in the carpark!

This post is about some of the interesting percents we found while searching the web to create an assignment sheet for one of our Mathematics classes. (The final assignment and answers are contained later in this post).

Here is a nice little PowerPoint from Slideshare by Natalie Hughes, that gives a great overview of Percentages.


Percentages are a very important part of our modern world. They are used in Economics, Cooking, Health, Sport, Mathematics, Science, Jewellery, Geography, Health and Exercise, Medicine, and many other areas.

Percents add a common understandable meaning to results. For example, saying that 25% of drivers breath tested had been drinking, (which means 1 in 4 drivers), is a lot easier to understand than saying 241 out of 967 drivers were drinking.

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Interesting Percentages

  • A jellyfish is 95 percent water.
  • More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.
  • Only 55 percent of all Americans know that the sun is a star.
  • About 70 percent of Americans who go to college do it to make more money.
  • 44% of kids watch television before they go to sleep.
  • 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water.
  • There are some ice creams that are 75% air.

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Now eating all that ice cream is sure going to taste good, but what about the subsequent unhealthy weight gain ?

Body Fat Percentage

A basic “Skin Pull Caliper Test” along with a lookup table can enable you to quickly determine your “Body Fat Percentage”.

A Great Body Fat Percentage and Weighing Yourself explanatory video by the legendary Darin Steen is this one:

Here are some body fat percentage guidelines for men and women:

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Q. Why is the healthy body fat percentage for women always higher than that for men ?

A. Women require more body fat for Child Bearing purposes.

So to get rid of that unhealthy fat build up, we are going to need to do some regular exercise that raises our heart rate up to a level where we can burn off some fat.

Heart Rate Percentages

There is actually a certain speed we are supposed to get our heart up to, for exercise to be beneficial.

This heart rate is often called our “Training Heart Rate”, or “Target Heart Rate”.

The basic mathematics behind this is that your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is 220 minus your age.

You then need to do your workout at below this rate at a “Target Heart Rate” that is a certain % of your MHR.

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Find out a whole lot more about healthy weight mathematics at this previous Passy World blog post:

The Mathematics of Being Healthy


Panda Percentages

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The predominant sub-species of giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), the Sichuan giant panda, is a large, black-and-white bear.

It is readily recognizable by its black ears, nose, and eye patches set against a white furry face. The panda’s legs and shoulders are also black, though the remainder of its body is white.

About 40% of the Panda’s fur is Black, and the other 60% is white.

Although a Panda’s diet is almost exclusively (95% to 99%) made up of bamboo, they will also eat honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, and bananas.

Where this doesn’t satisfy, pandas have been known to eat grasses, insects, fruits, and even small mammals.

One Panda can eat up to 40kg of Bamboo over 14 hours in a typical day.

Females are about 20 percent smaller than males.

By the end of 2003, the Chinese government had established 40 panda reserves, protecting 1,040,000 ha and about 45% of the total giant panda habitat.

Upon completion of the plan, 60 percent of all panda habitat will be included within protected areas.

In 2004, a survey counted 1,600 giant pandas remaining in the wild. Although this number is slight, it is 40 percent higher than figures estimated in the 1980s, says the WWF.

It is through the efforts of conservationist organizations like the WWF that this success has been obtainable.


Plane Crash Percentages

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The chances of crashing during a plane flight are extremely small.

Based on the history of recorded crashes, it is about 1 in 1.2 million.

In other words, only about 0.000083% of planes ever crash.

In addition, the chances of surviving a plane crash are surprisingly high.

On average, 95 percent of the passengers survive a typical plane crash.

Even in the worst crashes, usually at least 75%, (or 3 out of every 4), passengers survive.

So there is no need to have any fear of flying, because the mathematics is overwhelmingly in your favour that you will be 100% safe.


Percentages in Jewelery

There are an endless number of interesting percentages on the web.

Did you know for example that:

“14 carat gold” = 58.33% Gold, 14% to 28% Copper, and 4% to 28% Silver


“White Gold”
= 75 to 85% Gold, 8 to 10% Nickel, and 2 to 9% Zinc.

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Internet Pornography Percentages

Here are some percentage statistics about Pornography on the Internet:

  • 25% of total search engine requests are porn-related. (Top three searches: sex, mp3 and hotmail.)
  • 8% of total emails are porn-related. Average daily pornographic emails are 4.5 per internet user.
  • 12% of total websites are pornographic.

There is definitely a lot of kinky stuff going on with a certain percentage of Internet users:

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And here is a final slideshow. It is all about percentage increases in wages – wouldn’t we all like to see a bit more of that in the real world!


Percentages Internet Research Assignment

Here is a worksheet that involves internet research by students to investigate a number of interesting percentages.

View or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:

And you can also click the link below if you would like to see the Answers to the assignment:

So that’s us about 99% done here, and we hope that you have yourself a 100% day today.


Related Items

Introduction to Percentages
Converting Percentages to Fractions
Converting Percentages to Decimals
Converting Fractions to Percentages
Converting Decimals to Percentages
Percentages and Weight Training
Decimals and Percentages Games


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