What is a Kilometer?

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Kilometers are used to measure long distances. In this lesson, you will learn all about how many meters and centimeters are in a kilometer. You will also see how they are used to measure distances!

A Long Hike in the Woods

Imagine that you and a friend have been hiking in the woods all day. Suddenly, you come to a fork in the road! Oh no! You are both very tired. You want to get home as quickly as possible. There are two routes that you and your friend can take home. One is 1,000 meters. The other is 1 kilometer long. Which one would you take? The shortest one right? Well, did you know that both paths are the same length?! How interesting is that? Let's learn why this is!

What is a Kilometer?

A kilometer is a unit of length that is equal to 1,000 meters. So we can say that 1 kilometer = 1,000 meters. This term is easy to remember if you keep in mind that the prefix, kilo, is a Greek word that means thousand. Kilometers are usually abbreviated using the letters km. So instead of writing the distance to grandma's house is 2 kilometers, you can write 2 km. Kilometers are typically used to measure long distances. So, if you had to measure the distance between New York and California, you would probably use kilometers!


2 Kilometers = 2000 Meters
2km


The Metric System

A kilometer is a measurement of length used in the metric system. The metric system is a system of measurement that uses the meter as the basis for measuring length. The metric system is used in many countries, except the United States! In the United States, we often measure long distances in miles. One kilometer is equal to about 0.62 miles.

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