A billion

A billion is a big number – but just how big is it?

1000,000,000 (1 billion)


109 10 to the power of 9 (1 billion)

In the short scale system, which is commonly used in the UK, United States and most English-speaking countries, 1 billion is written as 1,000,000,000 or 109. This means that 1 billion is equal to 1 thousand million.

In the long scale system, which is commonly used in continental Europe and some other parts of the world, 1 billion is written as 1,000,000,000,000 or 1012. This means that 1 billion is equal to 1 million million.

Fun facts

If you tried to count to 1 million at an approximate rate of 1 number per second, it would take around 11 days. And that would be without sleeping or taking a rest in between the marathon quest. But if you were to count to 1 billion it would take you… wait for it… a cool 32 years!

But just imagine this, if you attempted to count to 1 trillion (1000,000,000,000) or 1012 at the same rate of 1 number per second and without sleep, rest or mistakes – it would take you about… 31,710 years! Give or take a year.

A little bit more

A million and 1 billion sound like BIG numbers, they are. But just how big…

Imagine this: 1 million seconds is roughly equal to 1 week. But, 1 billion seconds equates to about 33 years!

1 billion is a BIG number!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *