Difference Between Ratio and Proportion


Main Difference

The main difference between ratio and proportion is that ratio defined as the comparison of sizes of two quantities of the same unit and proportion refers to the equality of two ratios.

Ratio vs. Proportion

The ratio is the related size of two quantities expressing as the factor of one divided by the another; the ratio of a to b is in written form as a:b or a/b whereas proportion is an equality between two ratios. Ratio defines the quantitative relationship between two amounts, represented the number of time one value includes the other. Conversely, the proportion is that part that explains the comparative relation with the entire part.


Comparison Chart

Ratio relates to the comparison of two values of the same unit.When two ratios are set equal, it called as a proportion.
The quantitative relationship between the two orders.Quantitative relationship of an order and the total.
What is it?
Ratio is an expressionProportion is an equation.
Ratio as a certain number of parts, e.g., three parts to one part.Proportion as the same value of increase or decrease, e.g., doubles, half.
Denoted by
Colon (:) signDouble Colon (::) or Equal to (=) sign
‘To every.’‘Out of.’

What is the Ratio?

A ratio is a relationship among two numbers signifying how many times the first number contains the second. It can be considered as a mode of comparing numbers by division. In a ratio of two numbers, the first value termed the ancient and the second number is the consequent. You can compare parts with parts or parts with the whole. A ratio is a numerical comparing of two or more quantities. It offers more information than simply saying The numbers in a ratio may be quantitative of any kind, such as numbers of persons or objects, or such as measurements of lengths, weights, time, etc. Ratios can be shown in various ways such that using the “:” to individual example values, using the “/” to individual one valuation from the total. Ratio as a decimal, after dividing one valuation by the total, and also as a percentage, after dividing one valuation by the total. In most contexts, both numbers restrained from being positive. It states that a ratio of two numbers exists when there is a multiple of each that exceeds the other. The standards so far have been “part-to-part” (comparing one part to another part). But a ratio can also show apart compared to the whole lot. It is express in its simplest form. The two numbers under comparison are called the terms of ratio, where the first term is antecedent and the second term is consequent. There are few points to remember about the ratio, which referred to as under:

  • Both precursor and consequent can be multiplied by an identical number. The number should be non-zero.
  • The order of the condition is significant.
  • The presence of ratio is only between the quantities of the same kind.
  • The unit of the quantities under comparability should also be the same.
  • Comparison of two ratios can only be made if they are in equivalent like the fraction.

What is the Proportion?

Proportion is a mathematical equating within two numerals. A proportion is two ratios that are equivalent to each other. Often, these numbers can illustrate a comparison between things or people. You can compose mathematical proportions in two ways. You can compare the numerals with colons, or you can write the proportion in the form of equivalent fractions. Proportion tells us about a portion or part about a whole. Many calculations can be solved by using proportions to show the relationships between the numbers. It refers to some kind over the total. When two sets of numbers, an increase or decrease in the same ratio, they are said that is directly proportional to each other. Four numbers p, q, r, s are taken out to be in proportion if p : q = r : s, therefore p/q = r/s, i.e. ps = qr (by cross multiplication law). Here p, q, r, s have named the terms of proportion, with which p is the first condition, q is the second condition, r is the third condition, and s is the fourth condition. The first and fourth condition called extremes while the second and third condition is called means, i.e., middle term. Further, if there are three quantitative in continuous proportion, then the second quantity is the mean proportional between the first and third quantity. There are various ways to tell if two ratios form a proportion.

  • Check to see if the similar scale factor used on top and bottom.
  • Strive and simplify one or both of the ratios.
  • Cross products: Multiply the numbers that are diagonal to each other. If the products are equal, the two ratios form a proportion.

Key Differences

  1. The ratio defined as the contrast of sizes of two quantities of the like unit. Proportion, on the other hand, ascribes to the equality of two ratios.
  2. The ratio stands for the quantitative relationship between the two categories. Conversely in proportion, which shows the quantitative association of a category with the total.
  3. The ratio is an expression on the other hand proportion is an equation which can be solved.
  4. In a given problem, you can recognize whether they are in ratio or proportion, with the help of keywords they use, i.e. ‘to every’ in ratio and ‘out of’ in the case of proportion.
  5. The ratio represented by Colon (:) sign between the quantities compared. In contrast, the proportion denoted by Double Colon (::) or Equal to (=) sign, between the ratios under comparison.


Consequently, with the above examination and examples, one can simply understand the differences between these two mathematical conceptions. The ratio is the comparing of two numbers while proportion is nothing but an increase over ratio which expresses that two ratios or fraction are equivalent.

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