Ratios tell us how much of something we have in comparison to another thing in a system. This can be as simple as comparing your bin of fruit in your refrigerator. Right now, I have 4 apples and 6 oranges in my refrigerator. They ratio would be 4:6. A proportion is a math statement that tells us that two ratios are equal. Referring to my fruit bin, there is 2/3 (4/6 = 2/3) apples to oranges proportion in my frig. While ratios and proportions are often seen to be one and the same, there are many clear differences between the two. Proportions are used to find the quantity out of the total value of a population. For example, the proportion of girls in a certain grade level. Ratios on the other hand compare two values. In that same situation we might determine a ratio of boys to girls in a grade level. Another key different is that ratios are expressions and proportions are, by comparison, equation based.
Being able to evaluate the differences between these values can lead us to making wise or unwise conclusions. We will show you how to make good decisions based on story based real world problems. We will also show you how to applies in algebraic and geometric environments. When you fully understand how these statements are impacting the situation you are evaluating it can be a powerful skill to have. The worksheets found below will introduce you to both proportions and ratios. We will also begin to help you make the connection to percentages and decimals with this in mind. We also have a section that will help you determine your own proportions.