# Can I use "this figure" instead of "this percentage"?

I know "this percentage" or "this proportion" can be used because they refer to the variable of the proportion of the population under 14. I want to ask if this figure is correct? I'm worried that this figure may refer to the fixed figure 30% instead of the variable. However, a fixed number cannot decrease.

30% of the population was under 14 in 1960, However, this figure/percentage/proportion had decreased to 15% by 2023. (I wrote it.)

• I don't understand this figure may refer to the fixed figure 30% instead of the variable. The "figure" is "30", which is very subtly different to "30%" (a "percentage", "proportion"). Your example doesn't feature anything that could usefully be referred to as a "fixed number" - quite the reverse, since the context clearly indicates that the value changes over time. But why are you asking the question? Why don't you want to just use the word "percentage"? Commented Aug 1 at 16:22
• Rather than referring to that number in the report as a number in the report, you could refer to the real-world situation the numbers represent. "30% of the population was under 14 in 1960. By 2023 only 15% was below that age."
– TimR
Commented Aug 1 at 20:11
• With your sentence, there's no real-world anchor: that figure, 15%, 2023 versus 2023, 15%, that age. "age" is a much more specific reference than "figure".
– TimR
Commented Aug 1 at 20:32