Difference Between Miles and Kilometer

Miles and kilometer both are units for measuring any length or distance. In the U.S. and U.K., the standard way of measuring is miles, whereas in all of the other countries the standard unit of measuring is kilometer.


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Both the terms  mean thousand in their respective places they have originated from.

Miles vs Kilometer

The difference between miles and kilometer is that a mile is a unit of measurement that is only used in the U.S.A. and U.K. whereas a kilometer is a unit of measurement that is used worldwide and not just in certain places. Mile is under the imperial system whereas kilometer is under the metric system.

Miles vs Kilometers

A mile is a unit of measurement which is also often denoted as “mi” or “m”. One mile converts back to 1,609.344 meters. It was a unit that was traditionally popularized but eventually mile is not the most preferred or recognized symbol.

Kilometer on the other hand is also a unit of measuring length. It is also denoted as “km”.

One mile converts back to 1000 meters. It is a symbol that is recognized worldwide and also used. It is the contemporary unit of measurement.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonMilesKilometer
UseUsed in the early days of civilizationUsed in the later parts od18th century
CountriesU.S.A. and U.K.Accepted worldwide
Symbol“mi” and  “m” is used for mils“km” is used for kilometer
SystemUnder the imperial systemUnder the metric system
ConversionHas several equivalentsAlways equals to 1000 meters
ApplicationApplied in calculating distance on land, sea, and spaceUsually calculates distance across land
LengthIt is shorterIt is longer
Unit of MeasurementTraditional unit of measurementContemporary unit of measurement
SpellingSpelled in the similar way everywhereIn British and Australian English spelled as “kilometre”

What is Miles?

Miles is an English unit for length and distance, it equals 5280 feet or1760 yards. The term “mile” was derived from the Latin word “milia” meaning thousand. In ancient Rome, one mile used to refer to a thousand paces.

Hence the concept of “milestone” was discovered (stone craved with numerical).

Mile is a part of the U.S. and U.K. standard unit of measurement. Miles is under the imperial system although, in comparison with the metric system, 1 mile is around 1,609.344 meters according to the international agreement in 1957.

The symbol “mi” or “m” is usually used to denote a mile. Miles was first officially used in 1824 in the British empire.

Mile is found in several aspects of measurements such as- international mile, US survey mile, nautical mile, a metric mile, and Scandinavian mile.


What is Kilometer?

A kilometer is a unit to measure length or distance. The kilometer is also often denoted with the abbreviation of “km”. It is a vital part of the metric system of measurement. 1 kilometer is equivalent to 1000 meters.

The kilo means thousand in Greek.Kilometer came into use only during the 1790s

The kilometer is the official unit that is used for expressing geographical distances between places all over the world apart from two exceptions which as the U.S.A. and U.K.

Kilometer were recognized by the committee for weights and measurement as the standard unit for length measurement worldwide during the 19th century.

Sporting events usually feature1 kilometer (1000m) race for major events. Kilometers in the British and Australian countries is spelled as “kilometre”.


Main Differences Between Miles and Kilometer

  1. Miles as a unit of measurement as used during the early days of civilization whereas kilometers came into use during the1790.
  2. Miles as a unit of measurement that is only used in a few countries such as the U.S.A. and U.K. on the other hand kilometer is accepted worldwide as a unit of measurement.
  3. Mile is also denoted as “mi” or “m” while kilometer is denoted as “km”.
  4. Miles are recognized under the imperial system whereas kilometer is recognized under the metric system.
  5. One mile has several equivalents such as international mile, survey mile, nautical mile, etc. and each of them converts back to different values whereas for kilometer is always the similar, 1 kilometer will always represent 1000 meters.
  6. Mile as a unit of measurement is used for measuring several aspects such as distance on land, sea, and space whereas kilometer is only used for calculating the distance across the land.
  7. Mile is longer than kilometers and one mile converts back to 1609.344 meters whereas one kilometer converts back to 1000 meters.
  8. Miles is a more traditional unit of measurement whereas a kilometer is a contemporary unit of measurement.
  9. Miles is spelled in the same way all across the world where kilometer is spelled differently in certain places such as in British and Australian English spelled as “kilometre”
Difference Between Miles and Kilometer


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xgAVXHhuNYgC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=miles&ots=BW1v4Clwd4&sig=JFbB5EwgSD3Q8xFbnTB43KAfKco
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xgAVXHhuNYgC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=miles&ots=BW1v4Clwd4&sig=JFbB5EwgSD3Q8xFbnTB43KAfKco
  3. https://www.osapublishing.org/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-21-22-26836
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