Increase In or Increase Of? When to Use Each (Examples)

What’s the best way to explain an increase? Should we say “Increase In” and “Increase Of”?

We’ve all heard how changing the prepositions in a phrase affects the meaning it conveys. Therefore, we want to know which form is correct and what’s the appropriate way to use it.

Increase In or Increase Of?

Both “Increase In” and “Increase Of” are correct, but they have different applications. “Increase” is to make something larger in amount or size. You should use “Increase In” to inform about general increases, with no numbers. “Increase Of” should be used when numbers or percentages are involved.

Increase In or Increase Of

Take a look at the examples below:

  • There has been an increase in the bus fare.
  • The data shows an increase in algae in the lake.
  • There has been an increase of 50 cents in the bus fare.
  • The data shows an increase of 15% in the algae in the lake.

The first set of sentences discusses an increase without being very specific about how big the increase was. In those cases, where general information is presented without numbers, the correct form is “Increase In”.

The second set of sentences shows the same information, but in a more specific way: it shares numbers, either in the amount of money or in percentage. In this case, because the sentence involves the number information, we should use “Increase Of” followed by the number.

Increase In

“Increase In” is a correct way to express a general change or growth. It’s grammatically acceptable and idiomatic. “Increase In” should be used in sentences where you aren’t mentioning specific numbers, only general information.

Let’s go over some examples that will help clarify this idea:

  1. Will there be an increase in fees this year?
  2. There was an increase in shipping costs, and we must compute that.
  3. The neighborhood was seeing an increase in crime rates.
  4. There has been an increase in the average amount of social media users in the last decade.
  5. The increase in energy consumption in the household is shown in the bill.

Increase Of

“Increase Of” is the correct expression to use when you need to include numbers in your sentence. It doesn’t work so well for instances when you’re just speaking in general (in this case, you should use “Increase In”). But it’s perfect when you want to share percentages, numbers, or amounts.

Here are some helpful examples:

  1. The increase of ten cents for bottled water may not seem like much, but it would greatly affect lower-class individuals.
  2. There was an increase of 27 dollars in the price of the gaming console.
  3. The increase of 20% in the entrance fee was appalling.
  4. An increase of 10% in the sales of that product would greatly boost our profit.
  5. The studies showed an increase of $300 in minimum wage positively affected families.

To memorize which form to use in every situation, just keep in mind that general information should be shared using “Increase In” and specific information containing numbers should be shared using “Increase Of”.

Which Is Used the Most?

We’re curious to see which one of those forms is used more often, “Increase In” or “Increase Of”. Let’s take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.

Increase In or Increase Of usage

“Increase In” is used more often than “Increase Of”. We think this is the case because “Increase Of” should be used for specific information involving numbers – and the truth is we’re rarely that specific when making small talk with friends and family.

Considering that “Increase In” provides factual information without being too specific about it, it makes sense that this would be the form used mostly by people in their daily communications.

We can’t help but notice, however, that the usage of both expressions has decreased over the last few decades. Since the 1980s, “Increase In” and “Increase Of” have been used considerably less than they were before.

Final Thoughts

“Increase In” and “Increase Of” are both grammatically correct forms to express that something has become larger in amount or size. Use “Increase In” to share general information about increases of any kind. And Use “Increase Of” when your sentence includes numbers, money amounts, or percentages.