A Billion By Any Other Name….

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Depending on whether a country uses the Long Scale or the Short Scale for its numbering system, 1,000,000,000,000 will always be 1,000,000,000,000, but whether you express that number as one billion or one trillion could vary.

The Short Scale is typically used by English-speaking and Arabic-speaking countries, whereas Latin countries and continental Europe tend toward the Long Scale. Some Asian countries use their own system.

For example:

  • 1,000,000,000 is one billion in short scale and one milliard or thousand million in long scale
  • 1,000,000,000,000 is one trillion in short scale and one billion in long scale
  • 1,000,000,000,000,000 is one quadrillion in short scale and one billiard or one thousand billion in long scale

For more facts about numbers, check out our Numbers Category here.


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