Difference Between Kilometer and Mile

Main Difference

The main different between these two units of distance namely kilometer and mile is that one kilometer is equal to one thousand meters while one mile is equal to 1609.34 meters.

Comparison Chart

DefinitionA kilometer is a unit of distance measurement in the metric system that is equivalent to one thousands meters.Mile is a unit for the measurement of length or distance and is equal to the 1,609.344 meters.
Spelling in Different EnglishKilometre in British and kilometer in American EnglishSame spelling in all English languages
TypesNo typesMultiple types like statue mile, metric mile, and nautical mile
Meters in One1000 meters1609.34 meters
Yards in One1093.613 yards1,760 yards
Inches in One39,370 inches63,360 inches
UsageComparatively moreComparatively less


According to System International Units, a kilometer is a unit of distance measurement in the metric system that is equivalent to one thousands meters. Both kilometer and mile are an internationally recognized unit of measurement of length. However, the term kilometer is used more as compared to mile except in most of the part of the United States and the United Kingdom where a mile is still the official unit for measuring length or distance. The word kilometer is mostly used to denote the distance between places on land. The word kilometer has two different pronunciation and spelling in British English and American English. In American English, it is written as kilometer while in the British English system it is written as a kilometre. The word kilometer was first introduced in 1790 when the French Academy of Sciences was ordered to introduce a new system for the measurement of length. Later on, in 1935, the International Committee for Weights and Measures approved the word kilometer for the measurement of length and distance.


In System International, a mile is a unit of the measurement of length or distance and is equal to the 1,609.344 meters. It was recognized as a new unit for measuring length in 1959 by the System International Unites. In the past, it was being denoted as m, but now it is abbreviated as Mi for alignment with being used by the SI. The other derived units from the mile are miles per gallon and miles per hour. As compared to the kilometer that has further no classification, mile has several classifications like statue mile, a metric mile, and a nautical mile. Although the word kilometer is being used as compared to the mile to measure the distance between two geographical locations on land, still it is the widely used medium for measurement of length in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The word mile has same pronunciation and spelling in both American and British English. Among a lot of differences, the main difference between mile and kilometer is that one kilometer contains the same number of yards, inches, feet, and meters in all countries while all of these are not equal in most of the countries.

Key Differences

  1. One mile represents a large number of meters as compared to the one kilometer.
  2. One mile has 1.6 kilometers while one kilometer has 0.6 miles thus kilometer is smaller quantity than miles.
  3. Both mile and kilometer are internationally recognized However, a kilometer is the main unit of measure length that is mostly used as per the direction of International Systems of Units.
  4. One mile contains more yards when compared to one kilometer. One mile has approximately 1,760 yards as compared to the 1093.613 yards in one kilometer.
  5. One mile has more feet as compared to one kilometer. One mile approximately contains 5,280 feet as compared to 3280.84 feet in the one kilometer.
  6. One mile contains more inches than one kilometer. One mile has approximately 63,360 inches as compared to the 39,370 inches in one kilometer.
  7. Converting mile to kilometer is easy then converting kilometer to a mile.
  8. The abbreviation of a kilometer is Km, and the abbreviation of a mile is Mi.
  9. A kilometer is a unit of measurement in the metric system while mile is an also a unit of measurement in the imperial system that is still under usage in the United Kingdom and the United States.
  10. World mile has same spelling in both British and American language, but it is not same in the case of kilometer that is kilometre in British English and kilometer in American English.
  11. Kilometer has no further classification at all. It is a standalone unit while mile has different types like statue mile, metric mile and nautical
  12. Speed in kilometers is known as kilometers per hour and is denoted as kph while speed in miles is known as miles per hour and is denoted as mph.

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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