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Home > Science & Nature > Science > Mathematics > Mile and Kilometer (km) Compared

Difference Between Mile and Kilometer (km)

Mile vs Kilometer (km)

Mile and kilometer are units of measurement of length. While kilometer is used in the metric system, mile is a unit of measurement in the imperial system. Despite dominance of metric system worldwide, mile as a unit of length is used in a widespread manner in all parts of the world. Kilometer is used everywhere except the US and UK where mile is more commonly used to denote geographical distances between two places. There are obvious differences in a mile and a kilometer that will be discussed in this article.

Before the metric system was adopted it was only mile with different versions that was used in all parts of the world. One mile contains 1760 yards which in turn equals 5280 feet (as 1 yard = 3 feet). Mile is one third in length to the older league that was used in ancient times. So widespread is the use of mile in both US and UK that they refer to mileage when talking about efficiency of cars and also talk in terms of miles per hour when referring to speeds. Speed is abbreviated as mph and efficiency of a car in terms of fuel is referred to as mpg.

Before it was standardized by US in 1959, the British mile and the US mile differed and there were variations in miles of most of the countries. After the adoption of the metric system in 1959, US declared the definition of yard in terms of kilometer that fixed the issue once and for all. Since then, a mile contains 1760 yards and as such it is equal to 1609.344 meters. (1 yard = 3 feet).

A kilometer is a unit of length in the metric system that contains one thousand meters. This is the distance traveled by light in 1/299792.458 seconds. Kilometer is an accepted unit of distances between geographical places all over the world.

In brief:

Mile vs Kilometer

• Mile is a unit of measurement of distances in the imperial system still prevalent in the US and UK while kilometer is the unit of measurement in the metric system.

• One mile equals 1760 yards and one yard contains 3 feet making it equal to 1609.344 meters.


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