Enter the initial value and final value into the calculator to determine the absolute change in the numerical value.

Absolute Change Formula

The following formula is used to calculate an absolute change.

X = a – b

  • Where X is the absolute change
  • a is the final value
  • b is the initial value

Absolute Change Definition

What is an absolute change? An absolute change is a measure of the exact numerical difference between two numbers, typically an initial and final value. These initial and final values are also often referred to as beginning and ending values.

Absolute Change Example Problem

How to calculate an absolute change?

  1. First, determine the initial beginning value.

    The initial numerical value for this example will be 10.

  2. Next, determine the final ending value.

    For this example, the ending value is 5.

  3. Finally, calculate the absolute change.

    Using the formula, the absolute change is found to be 5-10 = -5.

Absolute Change

Can absolute change be negative? Yes, an absolute change can be negative. An absolute change is not the same as an absolute value, and therefore, if the ending value is less than the initial value, the result will be a negative absolute change. This can be seen in the example above.

What is the difference between relative and absolute change? An absolute change is simply a net or exact amount of change between two numerical values. A relative change is a measure of that exact numerical change, relative, or compared to another number. To learn more about relative change, visit our relative change calculator.

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absolute change formula