How many zeros are there in a billion?

short answers for big questions

TThere is some confusion regarding this concept, since not all the countries make use of the same pattern. Portugal uses the same nomenclature of most of the European countries such as Spain, Italy, France, England, Germany, and so on. But the United States and Brazil for instance use another formula to represent numbers, which sometimes gives rise to some confusion.

one billion

Till we reach a million, the meaning is the same everywhere, but things change forward depending on the country we are in. In The United States 1 billion corresponds to a thousand million in Portuguese, which has 9 zeros, as we can notice in the number written above. In order to better understand the difference, let’s have a look at the following table:

Different ways of representing numbers

PortugalUnited StatesNumberAmount of zeros
one thousand milionbilion1.000.000.0009
one thousand bilionquadrilion1.

Out of curiosity, there is also another important difference between the numbers used on both sides of the Atlantic. In Portugal we use a comma as a decimal divider and the point as a divider of thousands. In The United States is just the opposite.

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