How can I force division to be floating point? Division keeps rounding down to 0?


I have two integer values a and b, but I need their ratio in floating point. I know that a < b and I want to calculate a / b, so if I use integer division I'll always get 0 with a remainder of a.

How can I force c to be a floating point number in Python in the following?

c = a / b
8/10/2018 7:48:10 AM

Accepted Answer

In Python 2, division of two ints produces an int. In Python 3, it produces a float. We can get the new behaviour by importing from __future__.

>>> from __future__ import division
>>> a = 4
>>> b = 6
>>> c = a / b
>>> c
4/18/2019 6:34:04 PM

You can cast to float by doing c = a / float(b). If the numerator or denominator is a float, then the result will be also.

A caveat: as commenters have pointed out, this won't work if b might be something other than an integer or floating-point number (or a string representing one). If you might be dealing with other types (such as complex numbers) you'll need to either check for those or use a different method.

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