Examples of Ratios & Proportions

Previously, we used M&Ms to count and compare smaller and larger sample sizes. We compared the number of colors found in the individual bags or sorter which represented a smaller sample size. In a large group or on CODAP, we compared colors in a larger sample size.

When scientists are counting the numbers of individuals in a sample and comparing samples, they will sometimes use ratios and proportions to make the comparisons.

The ratio is used to compare the quantities of two different categories like the ratio of men to women in the city. Men and women are the two different categories being compared.

Proportion is used to find out the quantity of one category over the total, like the proportion of men out of total people living in the city.

Miniature people sitting on a bar graph.
Credit: Unsplash

We are going to focus on using ratios. You can practice below!

Let us look at an example using number of students:

Let us say there are a total number of 80 students in class. There are 30 boys and the rest of the students are girls.