## What Is a Mile?

Mile is a unit of distance, commonly used to measure large distances. Many countries use kilometer as a unit of distance as per the international system of units. However, the USA and some other countries still use the “international mile.”

On a school trip, if you peek out of the bus window, you might notice sign boards with numbers written on them. These signs represent how far a place is from your current location, or simply the distance between two places in miles.

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## Mile Definition

A mile (mi) is a customary unit of distance. It is generally used to express the distance between cities, roads, and the length of rivers. The symbol for writing the unit mile is “mi.”

So, one could say the distance of a marathon race is about 26.3 miles or 26.3 mi.

## Mile and Other Units of Measuring Length

Let us discuss the relationship of the unit mile with other customary units of measuring length. Common customary units of measuring length are inches, feet, yards, furlongs, and miles.

They are inter-related as follows:

- 12 inches $= 1$ foot
- 3 feet $= 1$ yard
- 220 yards $= 1$ furlong
- 8 furlongs $= 1$ mile

So, how are miles measured compared to other units of length? We can establish the relationship between a mile and other customary units using the successive multiplication method.

**Miles and Furlongs**

**1 mile **$= 8$** furlongs**

**Miles and Yards**

1 furlong $= 220$ yards

So, 8 furlongs $= 8 \times 220 = 1760$ yards

8 furlongs make 1 mile.

Therefore, **1 mile **$= 1,760$** yards.**

**Miles and Feet**

Let’s find the length of a mile in feet. How far does 1 mile look like in terms of feet?

We know that,

1 yard $= 3$ feet.

So, 1760 yards $= 3 \times 1760 = 5280$ feet.

1760 yards equals 1 mile.

Therefore,** 1 mile **$= 5280$** feet.**

**Miles and Inches**

We know that 1 foot $= 12$ inches.

So, 5280 feet $= 12 \times 5280 = 63,360$ inches.

But 5280 feet is 1 mile.

So, **1 mile **$= 63,360$** inches.**

Therefore, we can summarize it as follows:

**1 mile **$= 63,360$** inches **$= 5280$** feet **$= 1760$** yards **$= 8$** furlongs**

## Fun Fact!

How many feet are there in a mile?

There is an easy way to remember it: **Five Tomatoes!**

That is, **“Five” “Two,” “Eight” “O”** or **5280 feet**!

## Mile and Meter

Meter (m) is the S.I. unit of length. What is the relationship between a mile and a meter? Let’s find out.

We know that

1 mile $= 1760$ yards

1 yard $= 0.9144$ meters

So, 1 mile $= 1760 \times 0.9144$ meters $= 1609.344$ meters.

Therefore, 1 mile $= 1609.344$ meters.

**Note: **

We can also convert miles into kilometers using the following relations:

1 mile $= 1609.344$ meters and

1000 meters $= 1$ kilometer or 1 meter $= \frac{1}{1000}$ kilometer

## How Big Is a Mile?

We saw that we use miles to represent large distances. But how big is this customary unit? Let’s see some examples of a mile measurement!

- Earth’s radius ranges from 3963 miles at the equator to 3950 miles at the poles.
- The length of the famous Route 66 in the USA is 2448 miles.
- River Missouri, the longest river in North America, is 2342 miles long.
- The total length of the US coastline is about 95,471 miles.

After observing the above figures, we can say that mile is a large unit that we use to represent the heights of mountain peaks, lengths of canals, the distance between cities, and more.

## Conclusion

To summarize, a mile is a customary unit for measuring long distances. Using the successive multiplication method, we found that 1 mile $= 63,360$ inches $= 5280$ feet $= 1760$ yards $= 8$ furlongs. Finally, we saw that one yard is 0.9144 meters, making one mile 1609.344 meters.

## Solved Examples

**1. Express 1 mile in kilometers.**

**Solution**: We know that 1 mile $= 1609.344$ meters.

Also, 1 km $= 1000$ meters.

So, 1 mi $= \frac{1609.344}{1000}$ km

1 mi $=$ 1.609444 km ≈ 1.609 km.

So, 1690.344 m $=$ 1 mi ≈ 1.609 km.

**2. Express 21 miles in yards.**

**Solution: **We know that 1 mile $= 1760$ yards.

So, 21 miles $= 1760 \times 21 = 36,960$ yards.

**3. Express 1 meter in miles.**

**Solution: **We know that 1 mile $= 1609.344$ meters

1 meter $= \frac{1}{1609.344}$ miles

## Practice Problems

## Mile

### The driving distance from New York City to San Francisco is about 2903 miles. The distance in kilometers is:

We know that

1 mile $= 1609.344$ meters

$= \frac{1609.344}{100}$ kilometers

$= 1.609$ km

Therefore, the driving distance from New York City to San Francisco $= 1.609 \times 2903$ km

$= 4670.92$ km

$≈ 4671$ km

### How many feet is 6 miles?

We know that 1 mi $= 5280$ ft

So, 6 mi $= 5280 \times 6 = 31,680$ ft.

### 3 miles in furlongs is:

We know that 1 mile $= 8$ fur

So, 3 mi $= 3 \times 8 = 24$ fur.

## Frequently Asked Questions

**Which unit came first: mile or kilometer?**

Mile is the older unit of measurement when compared to kilometers. Customary units like miles existed long ago and were used by ancient civilizations. On the other hand, kilometers came later in practice.

**What is the distance of the Earth from the Sun in miles?**

The distance of the Earth from the Sun is approximately 93 million miles.

**What are a nautical mile and statute mile?**

Before 1959, one mile was approximately 1609.3407 m. In 1959, the US adopted the new measurement but retained the older one for some land survey data. This became the survey mile/statute mile in the US.

On the other hand, a nautical mile is a unit of distance used to measure distances related to air, space, sea, and territorial waters. One nautical mile is 1852 meters, slightly longer than a mile on land.