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Area vs. Perimeter: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on November 27, 2023
Area measures the space within a shape, while perimeter is the total length of a shape's boundaries.

Key Differences

Area refers to the space contained within a two-dimensional shape, measured in square units. It represents the extent of a surface. Perimeter, on the other hand, is the total distance around the edges of a shape. It is a linear measurement and indicates the boundary length.
Calculating the area involves multiplying length by width for rectangles, or using more complex formulas for other shapes. Area quantifies the size of the surface. While, to find the perimeter, one adds up the lengths of all sides of the shape. It measures the distance around a shape, not inside it.
The area is crucial in fields like architecture and interior design for space utilization. It helps in understanding how much space is available. However, the perimeter is significant in fencing or bordering a property, as it determines how much material is needed to enclose an area.
The concept of area is used in calculating land size, flooring, or painting required for a surface. It's about covering a space. Whereas, perimeter calculations are essential for tasks like setting up fences or borders. It deals with the length needed to surround a space.
Different shapes have different area formulas, like circles use πr², emphasizing the shape's dimensions. The formula for perimeter depends on adding side lengths, focusing on the linear dimensions of the shape's boundary.

Comparison Chart


Measures the space inside a shape.
Measures the length around a shape.


Expressed in square units (e.g., square meters).
Expressed in linear units (e.g., meters).


Involves formulas based on shape dimensions.
Involves summing the lengths of all sides.


Used for space utilization and surface coverage.
Used for determining boundary lengths.


Emphasizes the extent of a surface.
Emphasizes the distance around a surface.

Area and Perimeter Definitions


Area is the measure of space within a two-dimensional shape.
The area of the rectangular garden is 40 square meters.


Perimeter is the total length of the boundary of a shape.
The perimeter of the schoolyard determines how much fencing is required.


Area is calculated as the extent of a surface in square units.
To lay turf on the playground, we must calculate its area.


Perimeter refers to the distance around a two-dimensional shape.
To enclose the park, we calculated its perimeter for the metal railing.


Area denotes how much space a shape covers on a flat plane.
Knowing the area of a floor helps determine how much tile is needed.


Perimeter is the sum of the lengths of the sides of a polygon.
The perimeter of a square is four times the length of one side.


Area represents the size of a flat surface.
The area of a circular field is determined by the formula πr².


Perimeter is measured as the continuous line forming the boundary of a shape.
We measured the perimeter of our rectangular garden to install a new fence.


Area is a quantitative expression of the extent of a two-dimensional figure.
By measuring the room’s dimensions, we can find out its area for carpeting.


Perimeter denotes the outline or external boundary of a figure.
The jogging track’s length is equal to the perimeter of the field.


A roughly bounded part of the space on a surface; a region:a farming area; the New York area.


A closed line bounding a plane area.


A surface, especially an open, unoccupied piece of ground:a landing area; a playing area.


The length of such a line.


A distinct part or section, as of a building, set aside for a specific function:a storage area in the basement.


The outer limits of an area.


What is perimeter?

Perimeter is the total length of the boundary of a two-dimensional shape.

Can area and perimeter be the same?

Not usually, as area is measured in square units and perimeter in linear units.

How is area calculated for a rectangle?

By multiplying the rectangle’s length by its width.

How do you find the perimeter of a circle?

Perimeter of a circle (circumference) is calculated as 2πr, where r is the radius.

Why is area important in real estate?

It determines the usable space within a property.

Is perimeter important in construction?

Yes, for calculating the materials needed for boundaries like fences.

How do irregular shapes' areas get calculated?

By dividing them into regular shapes or using calculus for complex shapes.

What is the perimeter of a square with a side of 5 units?

20 units, since the perimeter is the sum of all sides (5 units x 4).

Are area calculations the same for all shapes?

No, different shapes have different formulas for calculating area.

What is area?

Area is the measure of space contained within a two-dimensional shape.

What units are used to express area?

Area is expressed in square units, like square meters or square feet.

Is perimeter always larger than area?

Not necessarily; it depends on the shape and size.

Does changing the shape affect the perimeter?

Yes, altering the shape can change the length of the perimeter.

Do all shapes have both area and perimeter?

Most two-dimensional shapes have both measurable area and perimeter.

Is it possible to have different shapes with the same area?

Yes, different shapes can have the same area.

Can the perimeter help in finding area?

Not directly, as they measure different aspects of a shape.

How is area useful in agriculture?

It helps in determining the size of land for cultivation.

Can area be zero?

No, as area measures the extent of a space, it cannot be zero.

Is perimeter used in mapping?

Yes, to determine the boundaries of geographical areas.

Can perimeter be circular?

Yes, in circular shapes, the perimeter is the circumference.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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