In the United States a percentage (numerical - 50%) is always one word. I have read two crime novels by a British author who breaks the word up, "...there is 25 per cent chance that serial killers follow a ritulistic pattern."

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    I've never seen that before. – GordonM Jun 23 '17 at 8:57

I have checked two dictionaries on my iPad and both explicitly show per cent and percent as British and American spellings respectively. This answer from English Language StE claims:

Both spellings, percent and per cent, are acceptable, but consistency should be maintained. Percent is more common in US usage; per cent is more common in British usage.

If you read that page, you will find ngram data supporting that the English usage is increasingly affected by the American one. This explains Spagirl, who has never used the canonical form.

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    Good point Ludi that American English is having a huge influence on the rest of the English speaking countries. Where a 100 or 200 years ago, most people were speaking with the British flavor of English, as more and more American media (music, movies, books, etc) is pushed out around the world, people become accustomed to our ways over time and making other things like per cent seem off. – ggiaquin16 Jun 23 '17 at 22:27

I'm British, and would certainly use the two word "per cent" rather than "percent," so I would hazard a guess that two words is the way all us Brits spell it.

  • I'm equally British and have never used a two word form of percent. Stalemate! – Spagirl Jun 23 '17 at 21:24
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    I agree with @spagirl. We out vote you by 100 percent. – David Aldridge Jun 24 '17 at 18:39

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