percent of what

Percent of what?

Posted by on January 29th, 2020 | 0 comments | IELTS, numbers, percentages, statistics, Task 1, writing

In this post we think about how a writer describes percentages so that the reader is always able to answer the question ‘percent of what?’.

  • When you have time, I’ve given examples of how to describe percentages in a previous post.


In the text below, click (or tap) words in bold to see how they relate to other words to report percentages so that the reader is never in any doubt about ‘percent of what?’

  • All adult Americans (By far the clearest way to describe a percentage!)
  • All adult residents of Mississippi
  • All adult residents of Colorado (By now the writer has established a pattern, focusing on all adult residents of particular US states.)
  • All adult residents in the South (The writer has signalled a shift in focus, from States to geographical regions..)
  • All adult residents in the Northeast
  • All adult residents in the Midwest
  • All adult residents in the West
  • All adult residents in the ‘Six states besides Mississippi’ (The writer shifts the focus back from regions to states.)
More than 15 percent of the American adult population is physically inactive, according to a new joint survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments. People classified as inactive said they had not participated in leisure-time physical activity in the past month: No running or walking for exercise. No gardening. No golf. The most inactive state is Mississippi, with 33 percent of its adult residents labeled inactive. The state with the fewest inactive adults is Colorado, at 17.3 percent. The South is the region with the most inactive residents — 28 percent — compared with 25.6 percent in the Northeast, 25 percent in the Midwest and 20.5 percent in the West. Besides Mississippi, six other states — Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee — had 30 percent or more of their adult residents reporting no leisure-time physical activity. Research has shown that lack of physical activity makes you more likely to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol and raises your risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. On the other hand, being active has many benefits , including improving mood, boosting energy, promoting better sleep, controlling or losing weight, building strong bones and muscles and reducing the risk for an array of chronic diseases. It can also help you live longer.

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