How many is a Billion?

If you are American, it is undoubtedly 1,000,000,000. This amount is known to traditionally minded British people as a thousand million and by some more adventurous ones as a milliard, though this word has not made as much headway in English as in some other European languages. A trillion is then 1,000,000,000,000, and so on.

If you are British, on the other hand, a billion may be 1,000,000,000,000 (a million million) following the older convention.

If you are neither British nor American, you can take your pick! Both systems were invented by the French but are called British and American for convenience.

Once the business world and the financial press found themselves discussing thousand millions so much, the American' system simply became more convenient, despite a certain lack of logical tidiness. A British trillion is the third power of a million while the American one is the fourth power of a thousand and the American system continues out of sync with the arithmetic. It also makes the profits sound bigger! The American system is now standard use in British government publications and is becoming the norm in many other languages.

1012 : trillion - American
1012 : billion - British

1015 : quadrillion - American
1015 : thousand billion - British

1018 : quintillion - American
1018 : trillion - British

1021 : sextillion - American
1021 : thousand trillion - British

1024 : septillion - American
1024 : quadrillion - British

1027 : octillion - American
1027 : thousand quadrillion - British

1030 : nonillion - American
1030 : quintillion - British

1033 : decillion - American
1033 : thousand quintillion - British

In the British system, it would also possible to use billiard for thousand billion, trilliard for thousand trillion, etc., but this has not so far caught on.

Related Links:

How many is a Billion?
How do you describe a Person who does not eat meat, but eats fish?
What is the word for an individual of arbitrary sex here?
Besides Angry And Hungry, what is other English word that ends in -gry?
Are there any Words with 5 Vowels in any order with no intervening...?

I have read that the longest word is 1,909 letters long. Is this true?
Is Bookkeeper the only word with 3 consecutive repeated letters?
Is there a word for a Baby Hedgehog?
Is there a term for the Study of Love?
Is Deliverables a real word?

Are there any words that only exist in the Plural Form?
Are there any Word containing the same letter three times in a row?
Are there any words that Rhyme With Orange?
Are there words that contain The Letter Q without a U following it?
Does Bimonthly mean twice a month or every two months?

What is the feminine equivalent of Brethren?
The name for a sentence that contains All 26 Letters of the alphabet:
What are the Commonest English Words?
What is the Third Word ending in -shion apart from cushion and fashion?
Is there a word like Siblings for nephews and nieces collectively?

Is there a word which describes the Fear of Friday the 13th?
What is the collective term for a Group of Cats?
What is the feminine equivalent of a Misogynist?
What is the difference between Street and Road?
What is the Longest English Word containing no letter more than once?

What is the Frequency of Letters of the alphabet in English?
Name of the common practice of forming A Word with 2 Capital Letters?
What comes after Primary, Secondary, Tertiary?
What is the feminine equivalent of Fraternal?
Is there an Eight Letter Word with 5 Vowels in a row?

What are the English Words which end in -dous?
What is the Longest Word in the dictionary?
What comes after once, twice, thrice?
What is the longest one-syllable English word?
What is the term used for a Prompt

Name for a New Word coined by combining parts of existing words?
What is the Name for a word that has Two Opposing Meanings?
What is the word for a Fear Of?
What is the opposite of Uxorious?
What is the opposite of Nocturnal?

What is the opposite of Juvenilia?
What is the opposite of Hibernation?
What is the opposite of Exceed?
The Only Word in the English that ends with the letters -mt?
What words in English containing two U’s in a row?

What word contains the five vowels in the right order?
The word for a word with more meanings based upon it's pronunciation?
Unisex refer to something to do with both sexes, not just one sex. Why?
What is the word for People Who Collect?
What is the word for a word which is another word spelt backwards?

The Word for words which sound like they are e.g. slush, slimy, etc.?
The word that describes when two words that mean the opposite of each other are placed together?

Frequently Asked Questions Index

From Billion to HOME PAGE