# How to Calculate Growth Rate

😓😳😵 To many readers, "Calculating a growth rate" may sound like an intimidating mathematical process. In actuality, growth rate calculation can be remarkably simple. Basic growth rates are simply expressed as the difference between two values in time in terms of a percentage of the first value. Below, you'll find simple instructions for this basic calculation as well as information about more complicated measures of growth.

### Part 1Part 1 of 2:Calculating Basic Growth Rates

1. 1
Obtain data that shows a change in a quantity over time. All you need to calculate a basic growth rate are two numbers - one that represents a certain quantity's starting value and another that represents is ending value. For instance, if your business was worth \$1,000 at the beginning of the month and it's worth \$1,200 today, you'll calculate growth rate with 1,000 as your starting (or "past") value and 1,200 as your ending (or "present") value. Let's do a simple example problem. In this case, we will use the two numbers 205 (as our past value) and 310 (as our present value).
• If both values are the same, there is no growth - the growth rate is 0.
2. 2
Apply the growth rate formula. Simply insert your past and present values into the following formula: (Present) - (Past) / (Past) . You'll get a fraction as an answer - divide this fraction to get a decimal value.
• In our example, we'll insert 310 as our present value and 205 as our past value. Our formula will look like this: (310 - 205)/205 = 105/205 = 0.51
3. 3
Express your decimal answer as a percentage. Most growth rates are written as percents. To convert your decimal answer to a percentage, simply multiply it by 100, then add a percentage sign ("%"). Percentages are an easy-to-digest, universally-understood way to express change between two numbers.
• So, for our example, we would multiply 0.51 by 100, then add a percent sign. 0.51 x 100 = 51%.
• Our answer means our growth rate is 51%. In other words, our present value is 51% bigger than our past value. If our present value was smaller than our past value, our growth rate would be negative.

### Part 2Part 2 of 2:Calculating Average Growth Rate Over Regular Time Intervals

1. 1
Organize your data in a table. This isn't absolutely necessary, but it's useful, as it allows you to visualize your given data as a range of values over a length of time. For our purposes, simple tables will usually suffice - simply use two columns, listing your values for time in the left column and the corresponding values for your quantity in the right column, as above.
2. 2
Use a growth rate equation which takes into account the number of time intervals in your data. Your data should have regular values for time, each with a corresponding value for your quantity. The units for these time values aren't important - this method will work for data collected over spans of minutes, seconds, days, etc. In our case, our data is expressed in terms of years. Insert your past and present values into a new formula: (present) = (past) * (1 + growth rate)n where n = number of time periods. 
• This method will give us an average growth rate for each time interval given past and present figures and assuming a steady rate of growth. Because our example uses years, this means we'll get an average annual growth rate.
3. 3
Isolate the "growth rate" variable. Manipulate the equation via algebra to get "growth rate" by itself on one side of the equal sign. To do this, divide both sides by the past figure, take the exponent to 1/n, then subtract 1.
• If your algebra works out, you should get: growth rate = (present / past)1/n - 1 .
4. 4
Solve for your growth rate. Insert values for your past and present values, as well as a value for n (which will be the number of time intervals in your data, including your past and present values.) Solve according to basic principles of algebra, order of operations, etc.
• In our example, we'll use our present figure of 310 and our past figure of 205, along with a time period of 9 years for n. In this case, the average annual growth rate is simply (310/205)1/9 - 1 = .0422
• 0.0422 x 100 = 4.22%. On average, our value grew by 4.22 percent each year.

## Community Q&A

Search
• Question
What if the past value is 0?
Anna Entrambasaguas
Then it isn't really growth rate, but your first profit/loss. You will use this value to calculate your growth rate next year (or other time period).
• Question
How do I calculate revenue growth rate over previous year?
Donagan
Subtract the previous year's revenue from the current year's revenue, then divide the difference by the previous year's revenue.
• Question
How do you calculate growth rate when the initial value is negative?
Add past value and present value, and divide by past value without changing their signs.
• Question
Is this referring to year-on-year compound growth?
Yes, it is. For example, based on the table given in the section, the value has changed from 205 in 2009 to 310 in 2008. The annualized growth rate (year-on-year) is 4.22% and the overall growth rate is 51.22%.
• Question
How do I calculate the terminal value using the growth rate?
Anna Entrambasaguas
For example, if a company made 100 euro in 2015 and for 2016 you only get information that their profit was 18% higher year on year, just take the original past value (100) and calculate 118%. So in this simple example, the company's profit in 2016 was 118 euro. Essentially, the first past value is your 100% and from there you can calculate any value.
• Question
How do I get the growth rate when the past figure is 0?
Donagan
The growth rate would be infinity, which is meaningless for practical purposes. It's better to wait until you have a non-zero past figure to work with. If you can't wait, you could choose some very small, invented number to use for a past figure.
• Question
How do I use a formula to calculate growth rate?
y=a(1+r)^x. Plug in numbers for a -which is your constant or starting number, r -the rate at which it increases and x -which is the time or intervals that it increases. Then solve.
• Question
Is "growth rate" the same as "specific growth rate?"
Not the same at specific growth rate because many specific growth rate equations have been proposed in the literature, but only a few are currently used.
• Question
What would \$60 dollars a month be worth in 10 years at an average growth rate?
This culculates what a \$60 dollars investment will be wroth in the future, given the original investment annual additions.
• Question
How do I calculate growth rates per annual percentage?
Enter the growth rate over one year, subtract the starting value from the final value, then divide by the starting value. Multiple this result by 100 to get your growth rate displayed as a percentage.
200 characters left

## Tips

• The entire formula reads as: ((Present - Past) / Past) * 100
Thanks!
• This works both ways. You use the same formula whether or not the number goes up or down. It would be a growth reduction in there is a decrease.
Thanks!
Submit a Tip
All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published
Thanks for submitting a tip for review!

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 28 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 2,297,507 times.
Co-authors: 28
Updated: July 5, 2022
Views: 2,297,507
Categories: Mathematics
Article SummaryX