Monday, 18 October 2010

Orders of Magnitude

I was playing a little number game just now.

The UK national debt is now £1trillion, according to the ONS. But just how big is a trillion?

A trillion is a thousand billions. A billion is a thousand millions. And a million is a thousand thousands. So that's a 1 with 12 zeros on the end. A million millions.


A pound coin is 3.15mm thick, a mere 0.0000031km. So a tower of a million million pound coins would be 3.1million kilometres high. Or to put it another way, 8 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

So, when people start moaning about the upcoming spending cuts, ask them how much of that they would like their children to pay.