What happened to the British billion? When did 100,000,000 become accepted as a billion over here? And where does this leave the trillion? | Notes and Queries (2023)

What happened to the British billion? When did 100,000,000 become accepted as a billion over here? And where does this leave the trillion? | Notes and Queries (1)
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What happened to the British billion? When did 100,000,000 become accepted as a billion over here? And where does this leave the trillion?

Jonny Cohen, Leeds, UK

  • In 1975 Chancellor Denis Healey announced that the treasury would adopt the US billion thenceforth. Presuambly at the same time what was a billion became a trillion - after all, UK inflation was at its highest whilst he was the incumbent of Number 11!

    Jeff Vagg, Beckenham, UK

  • I'm afraid it's a function of so many people being both illiterate and innumerate.

    David Pollard, Croydon, England

  • The British billion is 1000,000,000 as elsewhere. The 'old' billion was 1000,000,000,000; this is now the trillion. For global communication uniformity is essential. This has been demonstrated by the loss of time and hardware in space when metric units were misinterpreted as 'imperial'.

    Mike Abram, Lincoln, England

  • I think it happened about the same time as Mrs Thatcher finally flogged our dignity off to America. I still maintain the 'proper' billion ... but then I still write: 'connexion'!

    Stewart, Istanbul, Turkey

  • I have to point out that the question itself is wrong - 1,000,000,000 is accepted as a billion over here, not 100,000,000 as the author has stated.

    Chris, London, England

  • Not sure about this, but I think the British equivalent, now redundant, of the US billion (one thousand million) was a milliard. The British billion would have been one million million - the same as the US, and now universal, trillion.

    Dave McNamee, London, England

  • Never - 100,000,000 is one hundred million. The American billion is one thousand million: 1,000,000,000. The trillion is also the American version now - one thousand billion.

    Gordon Rutter, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • I'm pretty sure that the 'British' billion was 1,000,000,000,000 (ie a million million) whereas the US one that has now been adopted is 1,000,000,000 (a thousand million).

    Max Wurr, Stanmore, England

  • To Americans and the French, a billion means a thousand millions (1,000,000,000, or 10 to the ninth, what some British call a milliard, a term that seems never to have been widely accepted).

    To the British, including the Empire and the Commonwealth, billion has long meant a million millions (1,000,000,000,000, or 10 to the twelfth), what Americans call a trillion.

    It was to avoid this ambiguity that scientists, technical writers, and others to whom a few zeros more or less might make a difference, came to avoid the words altogether and refer to a thousand millions or a million millions when the use of numerals was not appropriate. Gradually, however, the American version began to predominate.

    Fowler merely noted the difference in Modern English Usage in 1926, but the second edition (1965) lamented: It is a pity we [the British] do not conform. The third (1996) observes that since 1951 the American usage has been increasing in Britain in technical writing and journalism but that the older sense is still common. In the past decade, the British government has been using the terms in the American sense in official publications.

    The same ambiguity exists as to trillion (to Americans, a thousand thousand millions, or 10 to the 12th; to the British, a million million millions, or 10 to the 18th) and quadrillion (to Americans, a thousand thousand thousand millions, or 10 to the 15th; to British, a million million million millions, or 10 to the 24th).

    Bill Dunlap, Hamden, Connecticut USA

  • The original meaning of billion, established in the 15th century, was "a million of a million" (1,000,000 to the power of 2, hence the name billion), or 10 to the power of 12 = 1 000 000 000 000. This system, known in French as the "long scale", is currently used in most countries where English is not the primary language.In the late 17th century a change was made in the way of writing large numbers. Numbers had been separated into groups of six digits, but at this time the modern grouping of three digits came into use. As a result, a minority of Italian and French scientists began using the word "billion" to mean 10 to the power of 9 (one thousand million, or 1 000 000 000), and correspondingly redefined trillion etc. to mean powers of one thousand rather than one million. This is known in French as the "short scale" and is now officially used by all English-speaking countries, as well as Brazil, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey and Greece.Incidentally, the American billion is 1,000,000,000, rather than 100,000,000.

    John Rymell, Stepney, England

  • Curiously, about four years ago, I wrote the Guardian to ask which "billion" they used: the US (1000 million) or the French (million million). The old "British billion" was the French. It was a bit difficult to understand Guardian articles when large numbers are used if you do not know which billion is referenced.The US billion has become universally used in English-speaking countries. In 1974, British government statistics adopted the US billion. The UK press conforms. The French have shifted about between meanings but finally confirmed the "French" billion in 1961. Most non-English speaking nations follow the French with the notable exceptions of Russia and Brazil. Because the public rarely have any experience with such large numbers, the use of the French billion persists in Britain, especially among the elderly and the classical. In contrast, a US Senator, Everett Dirkson, reportedly once remarked, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money".

    David Dreaming Bear, Horsethief Canyon, CA, USA

  • This all rather put me in mind of another misunderstanding about numbers. George Bush was (allegedly) informed during the Iraq war that three Brazilian soldiers had been killed. "Oh my God!" he said "That's terrible. Remind me again - just how many is a Brazilian?"

    David Elliott, Sheffield, UK

  • The Milliard ( is still alive and well in German speaking countries by the way. It is indeed the term that was lost in the UK when we took over the US system.

    Andy Armistead, Poole, United Kingdom

  • I seem to remember even Fowler, in his Modern English Usage, pointing out that the American billion is really rather more useful than the British one. If I'm right, the adoption of the US billion's been a bit longer coming than anyone here seems to recognise.

    Gareth Roberts, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • If it makes you Brits feel better, I can inform you that we Swedes stick to the older terminology:Miljard = 1,000,000,000Biljon = 1,000,000,000,000

    Fredrik Maartmann, Stockholm Sweden

  • In the Chinese language, a billion is 100,000,000. It is still widely used today. When I first picked up the English language, I was often confused. One billion (1,000,000,000) is equivalent to 10 Chinese billion.

    Benny, London, UK

  • The milliard is how the French call the US billion (10e9). They don't really ever use billion ...

    Raphael, Provence, France

  • The wholesale adoption of everything American is depressing, I lament the loss of adverbs, pronunciation of two-thousand-and-eight. Billion comes from Bi-Million, the second power of a million. Using the 3rd power of one-thousand is meaningless. So is Log-in, I work in IT I refuse to use Log-in as opposed to Log-on. I must be a dinosaur that were taught to speak good (eh?)

    Andrew Frazer, Cheltenham England

  • A billion in mathematics is one million to the power 2, or one million times one million. Bi meaning 2, as in bicycle, bi-plane or even base-2 number (binary numerical system) etc..A trillion is one million to the power 3, tricycle, triangle, triang - hornby trainset (?).Anyhow, it makes 'sense', which is something Americans lack so let's not follow them more than we need to.

    Jemmy Hanson, Ashton-In-Makerfield, England

  • I think, in the interest of good sense and logic, that we should return to the old British billion or one million to the power of two. The Americans can follow our lead for a change!

    Tim Holloway, Ludlow

  • When I was studying my accountancy, a British woman I worked with told how me England regarded the number 1,000,000,000,000 as one billion. To the best of her knowledge, she believed the Americans changed this number "billion" to 1,000,000,000 so individual Americans could attain "Billionaire Status." Given that I lived north of the 49th parallel for the first 21 years of my life, I would agree with this British woman that this statement could be accurate. American Mathematics:Status=Culture &1000,000,000,000=1000,000,000

    C. Futter, Sydney, Australia

  • This morning '10-3-2010' Alistair Darling announced that our National Debt had reached £178 billion. I did a calculation, converting Pounds Sterling to seconds. That many seconds goes back to 3630 bc! That was the year that Seth was born and he was Noah's eldest son.

    Michael Smart, Scunthorpe

  • I am surprised that the French invented the "incorrect" billion, given that they had "milliard" in their language. Well done the Swedes for sticking to commonsense.

    Rod Simmonds, Malvern

  • Shem was Noah's eldest son, not Seth.

    Ivan Martin, Northern Ireland

  • The British Billion was 1,000,000,000,000 until circa 1974 when American astronomers decided to de-value it to 100,000,000,000 as they said it was easier to calculate light years.Then someone adopted 1,000,000,000 as the new billion. This is all nonsense, what about all the books that have been written using the original British billion? Who is going to understand them? It seems to me that if a name has been allotted to a collection of numbers, then that is how it should stand. Why should we follow the Americans: They don't speak English anyway, or do the same Maths!

    Peter Thomas, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, UK

  • 1,000,000,000 should now be the universal standard used by all countries that use the iso (metric)system as this is all correctly based on units of 10 to the power of 3.eg grammes and kilogrammes mm, metres and kilometres etc using outdated systems such as 14lbs in a stone is madness when we almost universally count in units of tens,hundreds etc.keep every thing simple which is what was intended when the iso system was introduced

    Chris Dillon, Seaton Sluice United Kingdom

  • I am an American expatriate living in Germany since 2000. I have adopted the German number scheme and I must confess I like it. It just seems more standardized. And on that note: I wish the US would finally accept the SI system and just remove itself from the list of only three nations not using the international standard. It is just ridiculous. The only thing that I am not so fond of here is using a decimal point for the thousands marker and a comma for the decimal marker. A bit confusing there...but that seems standard in the German speaking world. Not sure why.Anyhow, here is the system in Germany:1E6 = 1 million1E9 = 1 milliarde1E12 = 1 billion1E15 = 1 billiarde1E18 = 1 trillion1E21 = 1 trilliarde and so on...

    Larry Lowe, Wiesbaden Germany

  • Bring back the original meanings of words, we should be using the word "milliard" instead of this annoying Americanism.

    William Westaway, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • As a little boy, well maybe not so little, I was taught that a million was 1x10to the 12th a billion = 1x10 to the 24th a trillion 10 to the 48th etc. I have refused to change.

    Bob Lewies, Chatham. Ontario, Canada

  • One old American = one new dullard. One new presbyter = one old priest writ large

    Mavis Enderby, Cheam, UK

  • While the official use of one billion in the UK may have changed to 1000,000,000 I think that colloquially many Brits still use the original 1000,000,000,000 version. That was certainly the way I was taught growing up, even though I was born almost a decade after the change. I think it's safe to say that the change was more to do with the US financial dominance (and therefore the dominance of the US financial/numeric systems) than any belief that the 'US system' was in any way better or more useful.

    Christopher Brown, Cheltenham, UK

  • I was taught that mille(Latin)= 1,000. If 1,000 is regarded as a unit then 1,000 x Unit = mille x unit i e 1,000 x unit or 1 million. Therefor mille(1,000) x 1 million = mille x mille x Unit = 1 billion and so on. To me this makes logical sense.

    George Simons, Cape Town South Africa

  • How sad to see so many old people refuse to change in the face of better systems. Maybe if old people were more flexible young people wouldn't hate them so much.

    Mitur Binesderti, Spankerton US

  • This blows my mind that you crazy cats in the UK would want to reeling off numbers like ..... seven hundred and thirty nine thousand, two hundred and three million, eight hundred and twenty two thousand, five hundred and eleven.......

    Darcy, Melbourne, VIC Australia

  • It's easy.10^6 -> One million"(n+1)-illion" -> million "(n)-illion"(for example, one billion is a million million; or one trillion is a million billion, and so on...)

    Carlos, Igualada Spain

  • Given much of the USA is obsessed with money it follows that turning one thousand million into a billion sounds great - until you start to talk about deficit and interest. Maybe the current crisis will knock a bit of sense into the argument because it isnt just money that's affected. Many estimates of population growth from the first half of last century predicted a true billion by the end of this century - thankfully we are less than even ten thousand million at the moment.

    Paul, Hobart Australia

  • Just for fun I "googled" billimetre!

    Paul, Hobart Australia

  • I am Spanish and found very confusing at first this because I was taught one billion was "a million of millions", that is

    Lois, Stirling Scotland

  • Some things seem to go round in circles - through our empire, half the world adopted some of our terms and spelling and now we are adopting American terms!One thing I wish the rest of Europe would adopt of ours (aside from the £!) is the , to indicate a thousand instead of the . It's quite shocking to receive the bill after lunch and momentarily think that I owe €12,456!And how the Yanks manage to measure anything in that crazy system of theirs (ours), I don't know.And what the hell does a fluid ounce look like?

    James, Ipswich England

  • All this is very interesting. I came here look for answers not to give an answer but in the sense of fair play I thought illuminating (or rather "making less dark") the madness of the American systems of measure would be interesting. In America we simply go about our business using difficult measures all the time. 1 fluid oz, you say? Well it's 1/16th of a pint because "a pint's a pound the world around". Oh you've got 20 ounces in your pint? No matter "the world around" actually just means America, it's difficult for most Americans to think of a world beyond the Atlantic and the Pacific. And in America we like to think of fluid in weight; that is, the weight of water. So 8 of those ounces is a cup. Two cups is a pint. Two pints is a quart and 4 quarts in a gallon. (quart=a quarter of a gallon get it?) and because we love to measure our fluid in weight, we all know that 128 oz, is a gallon, 64 oz is a half gallon, and 32 oz. is a quart. If you aren't sufficiently confused yet, just wait till you realize that a ton is .9090.... of a metric ton, so we have short tons (2000 lbs) and metric tons (1000 kg or 2200 lbs). And we haven't even gotten to the cockery of the 5280 foot mile!

    Josh McClure, Chicago USA

  • Mine is not exactly an answer but more in the way of questions: 'Why do we have to copy everything the Americans do? Do they own and rule the world now? If every American committed suicide, would we?I say we British should revert back to our own old ideals and keep 12 zeros in a billion (1 million million) and 24 zeros in a trillion (1 billion billion).

    Roy Ivamy, Portsmouth, Hants.

  • I'd always thought that the prefixes (M)illion for 1 (B)illion for 2 (Tr)illion for 3 (quadr)illion for 4 were the powers to which the basic million is raised. Thus a billion is a million squared, a trillion is a million cubed, a quadrillion is a million raised to the fourth power and so on.

    William Jackson, Cirencester UK

  • Let me put this into some perspective. The difference between the US billion and UK billion is that for every person in Salzburg State, Germany they would have recently discovered that they have lost only é6000 each as opposed to 6 million euros! Maybe we should ask the US to consider spelling billion with one 'l' as it is smaller!

    Bill Gates, Greenwich UK

  • Having read through the list of replies, I feel that I am not an outcast but someone who thinks. Adopting American meanings leads to confusion.I saw a program recently where the presenter said that Pluto was 3,600 million miles away, then a minute later said it was 3.6 billion miles away. Now that is one hell of an eliptical orbit. And this is someone who works at the LHC! I take issue with the comment regarding old people and not adopting the 'new billion'. Having a 'living language' where new words are added and meanings change is good, but altering the value of a number just to make it seem that there are more 'billionaires' living in the States is, well just cheap! I grew up knowing the distances in (proper) billions and that is how I use them. If others wish to express billion in the smaller sense then they must make sure that it is backed up by showing the number of zeros used (ie 2.3 billion, 2,300,000,000) that way there is no confusion. As for the really confusing and illogical use of a decimal point being a thousand division, why? In language do we finish a paragraph with a comma? No. So why show a number with a comma as in 914,012 and not 914.012 when the first number looks to be a thousand times bigger? What next, my left arm is actually my right one?

    John, Liverpool

  • I'm amused by the solidarity amongst the UK commentators here. Frankly, it doesn't really matter to me which term we use linguistically, as long as we have a unified definition. I'm an American, and I had never heard of a different billion before. When I saw a website that referenced this UK/US difference, I looked it up and arrived here. For me, one billion has always been 1,000,000,000. While I understand the semantics behind billion, trillion, and quadrillion being, respectively, million raised to the second, third, and fourth powers, it seems to me that this definition has some obvious setbacks. First of all, in writing, it would be cumbersome to write one thousand million, which could easily be shortened to thillion or some such term. But since most of the English-speaking world already uses billion for this number, why not continue to do so, regardless of the original term? One person brought up a good point: What about the old texts that reference an old 'British Billion'? I reckon for most people who delve into old texts, they either already know or are most certainly willing to discover such disparities for themselves. It is also likely that statistical, financial, or census data in the past has already been converted into digital format, so there shouldn't be much of an issue with folks digging up dusty old records and misunderstanding them. I highly doubt that in this information age, the difference between the old "British Billion" and the US billion would remain hidden from the curious inquirer. In any case, in the name of science and for the sake of never having to say "one thousand million" I will continue to use the American billion. It is just simpler. I hope everyone on the other side of the pond will still understand me!

    Josh, San Jose, CA US

  • Ahhhhh... Josh, San Jose, CA US... spoken like a true American.

    Kristian, Manchester U.K. of G.B. & N.I.

  • An article above written by an American mentions that older British people use the "French" billion. Rubbish! The British billion is a million millions and I can assure you that as a teacher that is what we teach at school, not the U.S. billion i.e. 1000 millions.

    PhilipII, Manchester Reino Unido

  • There's no such thing as 'British' billion, 'French' billion, 'American' billion or any other billion. A billion will always be a billion, regardless of what it's name is.Bi signifies 2 in any language. Not 1,000.

    Jemmy Hanson (again), Ashton in Makerfield England

  • Good on you Jemmy!It's very refreshing to get a simple, sensible, and accurate answer. I feel sure that BI means 2 -- even in America. eg:BiPlane, BiPartisan etc.therefore a Million Million must equal a BIllion. Take a bow Jemmy.

    Phil Stanton, Mandurah Western Australia

  • KISS (keep it simple stupid )£1,000,000,000 = 1 billion £10,000,000,000 = 10 billion £100,000,000,000 = 100 billion £1,000,000,000,000 = 1 trillion or a million million if you like & the UK is currently in debt by slightly more than this thanks to our wonderful governments & banks


  • When it comes to things that really don't matter, such as how many zeroes equal this or that, then I have to admit, you Brits got us beat. But when you're buying airline tickets to visit a loved one, or turning on your PC or your Mac, just remember which country had the knowledge and wisdom to invent these two little trivial things.

    Nick Kon, Dallas, US

  • This does not simplify international communication as the Commonwealth traditionally uses the 1 million million and accepted, governmentally, the US billion i.e. 1000 millions. Why don't they accept what the majority use? At least other countries are not sheep to the USA.

    Philip, Manchester England

  • It's only 3 zeros you may think so what has changed and what is the consequence. By taking away 3 Zeros you change the universe you inflate it from 0.0137 Billion Years old to a massive 13.7 Billion years. We now have a false impression of Time and space it is difficult to comprehend how big space is but saying in is 0.0137 billion light years it gives us a smaller perspective. You reduce the number of galaxies and stars in a gallaxy. There is now more room for planets to fit in to comprehension if only wee have 3 more Zeros. It makes a beginning more distant and allows heaven to exist.

    Shannon, Fareham England

  • Having read a few comments I find it ridiculous that one cannot agree on uniformity. Make it real so people understand. If it were a loan of 100,000 then a zero makes a difference. If a project or tender is worth 3bn then a dispute over a zero is a big thing. Disagreement makes a mockery of money. The message is money is not real so who cares? Just print more money.

    tony, letchworth hertfordshire

  • Seriously, it was done to annoy the British and I must say, I find it very satisfying to see it working so splendidly.

    Dennis K, Richmond, US

  • Looking at all the responses it reminds me of how many arguments begin from the lack of a common base of understanding (or differences between definitions such as 'truth', which differ widely between countries and/or politics). Fortunately, in this case, we have a common base which we can all agree on (or hope to), that we can all use powers of 10 to come to a mutual agreement on what we are measuring. As long as we have this common metric, we can at least understand each other.

    Lloyd Stearns, Georgetown, US

  • As my wife just said to me, "it's in the name". As usual she is right, BIllion, TRIllion... Enough said. The american "billion" makes no sense or logic.

    xavi, portsmouth sweden

  • The differences in naming numbers cause constant problems. When British citizens tries to withdraw a decillion dollars from banks in America, they'll find American tellers hand over a mere thousand quintillion, and if you want the full amount, you'll have to ask for a "novemdecillion" dollars. Well, in my day, a novemdecillion was an honest milliard sensibly raised to the power 12 and multiplied by the traditional million. These new American numbers are incomprehensible gibberish.

    Duncan McKenzie, Oakville, Canada

Add your answer


What is the difference between American billion and British billion? ›

In official UK statistics the term is now used to denote 1 thousand million – 1,000,000,000. Historically, however, in the UK the term billion meant 1 million million – 1,000,000,000,000 - but in the United States the term was used to refer to 1 thousand million.

When did the UK adopt the American billion? ›

The UK government has been using the American meaning of billion since 1974 for the numbers it gives out.

Is a trillion different in US and UK? ›

Trillion is a number with two distinct definitions: 1,000,000,000,000, i.e. one million million, or 1012 (ten to the twelfth power), as defined on the short scale. This is now the meaning in both American and British English.

What is the difference between billion and a trillion? ›

One trillion equals a thousand billions, or million millions. 1 trillion consists of 1 followed by 12 zeros, that is, 1, 000, 000,000, 000 and can be written as 1012 (ten to the twelfth power). It takes about 32,000 years to finish 1 trillion seconds.

Are there two types of billion? ›

Billion is a word for a large number, and it has two distinct definitions: 1,000,000,000, i.e. one thousand million, or 109 (ten to the ninth power), as defined on the short scale.

How much is $1 billion in US? ›

One billion dollars equals 1,000 million dollars.

What happened to British billion? ›

The British Billion was 1,000,000,000,000 until circa 1974 when American astronomers decided to de-value it to 100,000,000,000 as they said it was easier to calculate light years. Then someone adopted 1,000,000,000 as the new billion.

When did the US overtake Britain as a superpower? ›

As economic historian Adam Tooze writes in his book The Deluge, for a century, the British Empire had been the largest economic power in the world; in 1916, its output was overtaken by that of the United States.

How much of US did Britain own? ›

At the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, the British Empire included 23 colonies and territories on the North American continent.

Is the US richer than the UK? ›

For instance, compared to American GDP per capita in 2019, the British economy won't reach the same level until 2037. So, on this measure, the UK is 18 years behind the US. There's an extensive economic literature as to why such a wide gap exists between America and the UK and other European countries.

How much is a trillion dollars in $1 bills? ›

A stack of one billion dollars bills would be 67.866 miles high. A stack of one trillion dollar bills would reach 67,866 miles into space. A trillion bills, laid end to end, would stretch 96,906,656 miles—further than the distance of the earth to the sun.

What does 1 trillion look like on paper? ›

What is a trillion dollars? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros.

Are there any Trillionaires? ›

No one has yet claimed the title of trillionaire, although the speed at which the world's wealthiest individuals have grown their fortunes suggests that it could happen in just a few years.

Is zillion a dollar? ›

You may have noticed that "zillion" is not on here. Zillion is not actually a real number; it's simply a term used to refer to an undetermined but extremely large quantity.

What does 1 trillion look like in numbers? ›

A trillion is bigger than a million, more than a billion, it's 1,000,000,000,000 (and even or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 in some countries). (Yes, those are 18 zeroes in that last one.)

Is there a number bigger than nonillion? ›

After a billion, of course, is trillion. Then comes quadrillion, quintrillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, and decillion.

What is the biggest illion in the world? ›

There's quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion and more. Each is a thousand of the previous one. There's even a humongous number called vigintillion, a one with 63 zeros. But vigintillion is a shrimp compared to a googol.

How many millions make a nonillion? ›

Quintillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Nonillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Decillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Googol: 1 followed by 100 zeros.

What is 1 US dollar worth? ›

1 USD = 82.610534 INR Feb 10, 2023 04:00 UTC

Check the currency rates against all the world currencies here. The currency converter below is easy to use and the currency rates are updated frequently.

Can you spend a billion dollars in a lifetime? ›

Suppose you had $1-billion. You could spend $5,000 a day for more than 500 years before you would run out of money. Breaking it down even farther, it means you would have to spend over $100,000 every day for the next 25 years in order to spend $1-billion.

How much does a billion dollars weigh in $100 bills? ›

For example, one billion dollars in $100 bills (1 gram each) would weigh 10 tons — approximately 22,046 pounds. If you were to weigh one billion dollars in 50 cent coins (11.34 g each), it would weigh approximately 22,680 tons.

What happened to Britain's wealth? ›

Wealth inequality has fallen

While Britain has a lot of wealth, it is not shared equally across the country. But this is not a story of ever-rising inequality. In fact, the share of Britain's wealth held by the richest 1% fell for most of the 20th Century, and has been stable ever since.

How much of the British Empire is left? ›

The British Empire does not exist today. However, the Commonwealth is a free association of sovereign states comprising the United Kingdom and many of its former dependencies that acknowledge the British monarch as the association's symbolic head.

Why does the British Empire no longer exist? ›

The First and Second World Wars

Both wars left Britain weakened and less interested in its empire. Although Great Britain emerged as one of the victors of World War II, it had been economically devastated by the conflict. The British Empire gradually gave way to the Commonwealth.

Is the US the most powerful country in history? ›

It was the Muslim Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the seventh century to the Egyptians, who gradually adopted both. United States. The U.S. is, by any measure, the wealthiest, most powerful and most influential country in the history of the world.

Is the US still a superpower? ›

The United States is seen as a declining superpower as indicated by factors such as poor economic recovery, financial disorder, high deficits gaining close to GDP levels and unemployment, increasing political polarization, and overregulation forcing jobs overseas in China.

Is the USA a hyperpower? ›

Although the United States of America has arguably exhibited the traits of a hyperpower Post-Cold War, its global influence has begun to decline relative to other potential superpowers.

Who owned America before the British? ›

In the 1500s, Europeans began arriving in North America; they found a land with many natural resources and began to claim parts of it. While the French moved into the north and the Spanish settled in the south and west, the British founded colonies on the east coast.

Was China ever ruled by British? ›

Although British imperialism never politically took hold in mainland China, as it did in India or Africa, its cultural and political legacy is still evident today.

Which country British ruled the most? ›

India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence in 1947 as part of a larger decolonisation movement, in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire.

Who is richer Europe or America? ›

Americans are generally richer than Europeans.

Which country pays better UK or USA? ›

Job opportunities: UK vs US

This means that wages are lower than in the US, but this is not always the case. The UK has a progressive tax system with higher taxes for those who earn a lot and lower taxes for those who earn less. People in the US pay much more income tax on average than people in the UK.

Does the US have more poverty than the UK? ›

Although the overall income in the US is higher than that in the UK, the poor in the US, especially the ultra-poor, are poorer than those in the UK.

How high would a stack of 1 trillion 1 dollar bills be? ›

Let's look at a few statistics. A stack of one billion dollars bills would be 67.9 miles high. A trillion dollar bills would reach 67,866 miles into space. A trillion dollar bills, laid end to end, would stretch 96,906,656 miles—further than the distance of the earth to the sun.

How tall is a stack of 1 trillion dollar bills? ›

If you stacked $100 bills totaling $1 trillion on top of each other, the stack would be 631 miles high. This is what $1 trillion in spending look like. John Watling and 60 others like this.

Can you spend a trillion dollars in a lifetime? ›

It would take you more than 2,700 years to spend a trillion dollars, if you spent one million dollars every day. And if you had that much and spent one dollar per second, it would take more than 32,000 years to spend it all. Also, a trillion dollars in one-dollar bills would weigh 2.2 billion pounds.

What would a trillion pennies look like? ›

One trillion pennies would create a mind boggling cube with edges nearly as long as a football field. If only there were that many pennies in existence! Current estimates by the U.S. Mint place the number of pennies in circulation at around 140 billion.

What 1 trillion dollars can buy? ›

One trillion dollars is enough money to buy up all the shares of ExxonMobil (XOM), McDonald's (MCD), and Coca-Cola (KO)—and still have billions left over.

How many dollar bills would it take to reach the moon? ›

A. 19 million dollar bills is a reasonable order of magnitude estimate. Dollar bills are about 2 meters long, so it would take about 19 million of them to reach the Moon.

Who are the 3 richest families in America? ›

The top 10 richest families in 2022 by estimated wealth are: The Walton family with $224.5 billion. The Mars family with $160 billion. The Koch family with $128.8 billion.

What is the richest family in history? ›


This is the wealthiest family in history.

Who is the world's wealthiest family? ›

The 10 Richest Families in the World
  1. Walton Family. Company: Walmart. ...
  2. Mars Family. Company: Mars. ...
  3. Koch Family. Company: Koch Industries. ...
  4. Al Saud Family. Company: Saudi Royal Family. ...
  5. Hermes Family. Company: Hermes. ...
  6. Ambani Family. Company: Reliance Industries. ...
  7. Wertheimer Family. Company: Chanel. ...
  8. Cargill, MacMillan Family.
Jan 17, 2023

What is this number 1000000000000000000000000? ›

Some Very Big, and Very Small Numbers
NameThe NumberSymbol
Very Small !
quadrillionth0.000 000 000 000 001f
6 more rows

What is the biggest named number? ›

The longest number with a name is the Googleplexian. A Googolplexian is a number with 10100 zeroes. Whilst larger numbers can be imagined, the Googolplexian is the largest number that could be found in the dictionary.

How many zeros are in a centillion? ›

noun, plural cen·til·lions, (as after a numeral) cen·til·lion. a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 303 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 600 zeros. amounting to one centillion in number.

What comes after zillion? ›

There's quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion and more. Each is a thousand of the previous one. There's even a humongous number called vigintillion, a one with 63 zeros.

What is the size of box needed for $1000000 in $100 bills? ›

Ten thousand $100 bills equals $1 million (10,000 x $100 = $1,000,000). Therefore, a $1 million stack of $100 bills is 43 inches tall (10,000 x . 0043 inches = 43 inches).

How big is the number gazillion? ›

If you use the long scale, a gazillion is equal to \(10^{71}\). Cookiefonster calls 300 billion gazillion = \(3 \cdot 10^{85}\) the "Calvin and Hobbes number".

When did UK accept US Independence? ›

The United Kingdom officially recognized American independence by signing the Treaty of Paris of 1783. David Hartley, a Member of Parliament representing British King George III, signed the treaty along with the American delegation of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay on September 3, 1783.

When did Britain become largest economy? ›

19th century Britain was the world's richest and most advanced economy while 19th century Ireland experienced the worst famine in Europe in that century. Real GDP per person almost doubled in the 90 years between 1780 and 1870, when it reached $3263 per capita.

When did the US and UK become allies? ›

The United States has no closer Ally than the United Kingdom. Following the end of the American Revolution in 1783, the United Kingdom officially recognized American independence, and in 1785 our two countries established diplomatic relations.

Why did Britain let go of America? ›

There was no hope of conquering America — the territory was too big and available resources too meager. At the outbreak of hostilities, the British Army numbered just 45,000 men, spread over a substantial global empire.

What was the last country to gain independence from Britain? ›

As our infographic shows, over the years, 65 countries have claimed independence so far. The first of which was the United States back on July 4, 1776 (although the Declaration wasn't officially recognized by the British government until 1783). The most recent was in 1984, when Brunei became an Islamic sultanate.

Is America the first country to gain independence? ›

The United States of America declared independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, thus becoming the first independent, foreign-recognized nation in the Americas and the first European colonial entity to break from its mother country.

Which country has the fastest growing economy in the world 2022? ›

India is set to be the world's fastest growing major economy in the year ahead, as a post-pandemic retail boom and recent bank balance-sheet repairs lure new investment.

When did Britain become so powerful? ›

The 18th century saw the newly united Great Britain rise to be the world's dominant colonial power, with France becoming its main rival on the imperial stage.

Who has the largest economy of the world 2022? ›

Currently, the largest slices of the pie are held by the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and India, which together account for more than half of global GDP. Just five countries make up more than half of the world's entire GDP in 2022: the U.S., China, Japan, India, and Germany.

Who is the US longest ally? ›

Morocco formally recognized the United States by signing a treaty of peace and friendship in 1786, a document that remains the longest unbroken relationship in U.S. history.

Has the US ever lost to England in the World Cup? ›

The US men's national team remain undefeated (1W-0L-2D record) against England at FIFA World Cups, securing a 0-0 draw Friday in Qatar. In past editions of this tournament, the Yanks beat the Three Lions (1-0 at Brazil 1950) and drew them (1-1 at South Africa 2010).

When did Britain stop hating the US? ›

The UK and the USA went from periods of cooperation to hating each other's guts on semi-regular basis. It wasn't until the 1940s that relations normalized in a consistent manner which has, today, transformed into the myth of the unbreakable, historic Anglo-American friendship.


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