2
$\begingroup$

Proportions and percentages, as I understand them, show the same information. So why report one over the other? Or perhaps what I'm really asking is "Under which circumstances would one be preferred over another?"

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

6
$\begingroup$

I believe this depends on your audience. Personally, I dislike proportions in the form $p=0.00001$, when they are smaller than $1\%$ -- since I have to count the zeros to understand the number. However, the same is true when the upper number is expressed as a percentages $p=0.001\%$. It's still hard to understand the quantity. In these cases I prefer $p=10ppm$.

However, if I am talking to non-statisticians (e.g. students) I use neither percentages nor (standard) proportions in the form of a single number. Instead, I try to use proportions in the form $X$ in $Y$. For example, one person out of thousand instead of $p=0.1\%$, or $10$ pieces out of 1 million. It seams as if this is more intuitive than a percentage, especially if you talk to people who do not feel comfortable handling numbers.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.