Metric Area

These are the most common measurements of area (from smallest to largest):

  • Square Millimeter
  • Square Centimeter
  • Square Meter
  • Hectare
  • Square Kilometer

 


Ariel the Dog is waiting patiently
inside 1 square meter.

Square Meter

The square meter is the basic unit of area of the Metric System.

Area is length by length, so:

A square that is 1 meter on each side
is 1 square meter.

The Unit is meters × meters, which is written m2 (square meters).

You could have other shapes (such as a rectangle that is ½ a meter by 2 meters) that also make 1 square meter.

Example: How big is this rectangle?

rectangle 2x3

It is 2 meters by 3 meters, so it is 2 m × 3 m = 6 m2

 

Square Millimeter

A square millimeter is millimeters × millimeters, which is written mm2.

A millimeter is one-thousandth of a meter (1/1000 meter), so a square millimeter is also:

1  ×  1  =  1 of a square meter
1,000 1,000 1,000,000

In other words a square millimeter is one-millionth of a square meter.

So, a square meter has 1,000,000 square millimeters.

 

Square Centimeter

A square centimeter is centimeter × centimeter,

It is written cm2

A centimeter is one-hundredth of a meter (1/100 meter), so a square centimeter is also:

1  ×  1  =  1 of a square meter
100 100 10,000

In other words a square centimeter is one-ten-thousandth of a square meter.

So a square meter has 10,000 square centimeters.

 

land area

Hectare

A hectare (ha) is an area equal to a square that is 100 meters on each side.

So a hectare has 100 m × 100 m = 10,000 m2 (square meters).

Hectares are commonly used to measure land.

 

Square Kilometer

A square kilometer is kilometer × kilometer, which is written km2.

A kilometer is a thousand meters, so a square kilometer is also:

1,000 m × 1,000 m = 1,000,000 m2 (square meters)

In other words a square kilometer is one-million square meters.

Square kilometers are commonly used to measure large areas of land.

Some Examples

A square meter is about:

  • half the area of a doorway
 
The area covered by a large umbrella is roughly one square meter

 

A hectare is about:

  • two and a half acres
  • 2.471 acres (to 3 decimal places)
  • 100,000 square feet
  • more precisely 107,639 square feet