The incredible differences between the "Million" and the "Billion"

By Benedetto Nicolai | A.Science | 2 Apr 2022

Every day we deal with numbers and, very often, we are faced with very high numbers, perhaps used to describe very long distances in astronomy, very long periods of time in history and much more. Usually, in a very general way, people use the term "Million" or "Billion" to describe a huge amount and as if the two measures were similar. In reality, the difference between the two types of numbers is immense and, to demonstrate this, let's give some examples.

Time measurement

One of the best examples to show the difference between the two numbers is definitely time. Let's take the seconds as a reference:

1 Million seconds equals about 11 and a half days; 1 Billion seconds, on the other hand, equals approximately 31 years and 6 months!

Distance measurement

Distance can also be a great example for comparing the magnitude between the two numbers. In this case we take as an example the Kilometers:

1 Million Kilometers are equivalent to about 3 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon; 1 Billion Kilometers equals approximately the maximum distance of the Earth from Jupiter! In the same way we can make a practical example considering the distance from the Sun: Assuming absurdly a planet only 1 Million Kilometers away from the Sun, it would have infernal temperatures or it could even exist only for a very short time. Conversely, a planet 1 Billion Kilometers away from the Sun (Such as Jupiter during its maximum distance from our Sun and Saturn during its minimum distance from our Sun) would have glacial temperatures.

Wealth misure

Wealth can also be an excellent example to understand the difference: With €1 Million I can buy 3 cars costing about € 333000 and have a final balance of only € 1000; with € 1 Billion I can buy 100 cars of the same price and remain with a final balance of € 966,7 Million! Again, an incredible difference is evident.

How do you rate this article?




Welcome everyone. In this blog you will find articles about science, physics, astronomy and many other curiosities about the world around us and the universe.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.