1 Mile in Meters: How-To & Steps

Instructor: Thomas Higginbotham

Tom has taught math / science at secondary & post-secondary, and a K-12 school administrator. He has a B.S. in Biology and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction.

Different places use different measures of distance. The U.S. uses inches, feet, and miles, while much of the rest of the world uses metric meters. Converting from one to the other is not only helpful, it's easy! Learn how in this lesson.

Steps to Converting Miles to Meters

'How far is it to the Rick Astley museum,' your friend Heinrich asks.

'One mile,' you answer. 'Exactly one mile.'

'Mile? I do not know what is this one mile,' he says.

'You know,' you say. 'Like... a mile.'

'No no,' says Heinrich. 'How far is it? Like...how many meters?'

It is then that you realize Heinrich doesn't understand you because he is from Europe (where they use metric units, like meters, kilometers, and centimeters) and that you were using U.S. Customary units (miles, inches, and feet, etc.). You will have to convert the distance in miles to meters. Fortunately, that's pretty easy.

Overall, the process involves:

  1. Find a U.S. - Metric System distance equivalent (e.g., how many U.S. units in a single metric unit, or vice versa)
  2. Convert miles to feet
  3. Convert feet to meters
Finding US - Metric equivalent

There are 3.28 feet in a single meter. However, it'd be easier to do this calculation if you know how many meters are in a foot. You can set up an equivalent ratio.


Ratio for meters in a foot


3.28 x = 1

x = 0.305

There are 0.305 meters in a single foot.

Converting miles to feet

There are 5280 feet in a mile. So one mile is 5280 feet.

Had the mile distance been different than an exact mile, you could have multiplied the number of miles by 5280 to get feet (e.g., 3 miles in feet: 3 x 5280 ft/mile = 15840 feet).

Converting feet to meters

If there are .305 meters in a single foot, common sense tells us there should be .610 meters in 2 feet (.305 x 2), .915 meters in 3 feet (.305 x 3), and so on. To get the number of meters in a known number of feet, simply multiply the number of feet by .305. Or, for those who like to have an equation, use the following, where m = meters and ft = feet.

m = 0.305 x ft

The Solution

m = 0.305 x ft,

ft = 5280 ft

m = 0.305 m/ft x 5280 ft

m= 1610 m

There are 1610 meters in a mile.

You tell Heinrich, 'I can't tell a lie. It's a long way to the Rick Astley Museum. 1610 meters to be exact.'

'Nonsense,' he says. 'It's the Rick Astley Museum. It won't hurt me to walk that far.'

Checking Your Work

Option 1: Rounding to Check Your Answer

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