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methods

1Basic Conversions

2Using Conversion Factors

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**Reviewed by**Grace Imson, MA

Last Updated: May 26, 2023Fact Checked

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Many sites on the internet can automatically convert miles to kilometers. However, learning how to do it on your own is a good idea if you ever don't have an internet connection. The most important thing to remember is that there are **1.6 kilometers in a mile.** This means that you can **multiply your number of miles by 1.6** to get kilometers.

## Convert Miles to Kilometers

Use this conversion calculator to convert miles to kilometers.

Length

=

Formulafor an approximate result, multiply the length value by 1.609

Method 1

Method 1 of 2:

### Basic Conversions

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1

**Write the number of miles.**In this section, you'll learn how to get kilometers from miles. Start by writing the number of miles you want to convert. If you're using a calculator, type it in.- Let's follow along with an example. If we want to convert 50 miles into kilometers, we would start by writing it out like this:
**50 miles**.

- Let's follow along with an example. If we want to convert 50 miles into kilometers, we would start by writing it out like this:
2

**Multiply by 1.****6.**Your answer will be the number of kilometers in miles. That's all there is to it!^{[1]}- In our example, we can find the answer like this: 50 × 1.6 =
**80 kilometers**. - Don't forget the "kilometers" label. You can also write "km" for short. If you're doing this for homework, you may lose points if you leave it off.
- If you need help multiplying decimals, see WikiHow's How to Multiply Decimals.

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- In our example, we can find the answer like this: 50 × 1.6 =
3

**For precise conversions, multiply by 1.****60934.**One mile isn't*exactly*1.6 kilometers. It's actually about 1.609347218694. This is the official U.S. Survey definition. Use as much of this number as you want to get your answer more precise.^{[2]}- If we want to know
*exactly*how far 50 miles is in kilometers, we can just multiply 50 by 1.609347. This gets us 50 × 1.609347 =**80.46735 kilometers**— about half a kilometer more. - You only need to do this for really precise conversions. Just use 1.6 for basic purposes!

- If we want to know
4

**To get back to miles, divide by 1.****6.**Getting back to miles is easy. Since dividing is basically the opposite of multiplying, divide by 1.6 to "undo" the multiplication.^{[3]}- In our original example, 80/1.6 =
**50 miles**— right back where we started. - If you used a different decimal than 1.6, divide by it instead. In our alternate example above, we would divide by 1.609347.

- In our original example, 80/1.6 =

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Method 2

Method 2 of 2:

### Using Conversion Factors

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1

**Write the number of miles as a fraction over one.**By treating your measurements like fractions, you can convert in a way that makes it easy to get the right answer (and units) every time. Start by writing your number of miles as the top part of a fraction (the*numerator*). In the bottom part of the fraction (the*denominator*), write a 1.^{[4]}- Let's say that we want to figure out how many kilometers are in 5.4 miles. In this case, we would write a fraction like this:
**5.4 miles/1**. - When you're converting this way, always include the units in the fractions. They will be important later.
^{[5]}

- Let's say that we want to figure out how many kilometers are in 5.4 miles. In this case, we would write a fraction like this:
2

**Write a fraction with the ratio of kilometers to miles.**Now, you want to make a fraction that shows how many kilometers are in a mile. This is a lot easier than it sounds — see below for help.- We already know that there are about 1.6 kilometers in a mile. We can use this to build our fraction. In the numerator (the top part), we would write "1.6 kilometers" and in the denominator (the bottom part), we would write "1 mile." This gives us
**1.6 kilometers/1 mile**.

- We already know that there are about 1.6 kilometers in a mile. We can use this to build our fraction. In the numerator (the top part), we would write "1.6 kilometers" and in the denominator (the bottom part), we would write "1 mile." This gives us
3

**Multiply and cancel units that show up both on top and on bottom.**Now, just multiply the two fractions. See our article on multiplying fractions if you need help. As you multiply, look for units that show up once in the numerator and once in the denominator. When you find a pair, cross both out.^{[6]}- In our example, we have 5.4 miles/1 × 1.6 kilometers/1 mile. "Mile" appears on top in the first fraction and on the bottom in the second, so we can cross both "miles" out. Multiplying, we get
**8.64**.

- In our example, we have 5.4 miles/1 × 1.6 kilometers/1 mile. "Mile" appears on top in the first fraction and on the bottom in the second, so we can cross both "miles" out. Multiplying, we get
4

**Use the units that are left for your answer.**In the last step, you should have crossed out all of the units except for one. These are the units in your answer.- In our example, "kilometers" are the only units not crossed out, so we know our answer is
**8.64 kilometers**.

- In our example, "kilometers" are the only units not crossed out, so we know our answer is
5

**Continue this pattern to build more complicated conversions.**Now that you know how to do easy conversions, you can use the same approach for longer ones. Just follow the same steps. Write your starting measurement as a fraction over 1, then write your conversions as fractions so that your units cancel (except for the units you want your answer in) and multiply.^{[7]}- For example, let's say that you want to know what 5.4 miles is in centimeters. You don't know the conversion for miles to centimeters, but you do know that there are 1.6 kilometers in a mile, 1,000 meters in a kilometer, and 100 centimeters in a meter. This is all you need to set up your problem:
**5.4 miles/1 × 1.6 kilometers/1 mile × 1000 meters/1 kilometer × 100 centimeters/1 meter**

- Notice that all of the units cancel except for centimeters (because it only appears once). Multiplying through, your final answer is
**864,000 centimeters**.

- For example, let's say that you want to know what 5.4 miles is in centimeters. You don't know the conversion for miles to centimeters, but you do know that there are 1.6 kilometers in a mile, 1,000 meters in a kilometer, and 100 centimeters in a meter. This is all you need to set up your problem:

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### Calculator, Practice Problems, and Answers

Sample Converting Miles to Kilometers Calculator

Sample Converting Miles to Kilometers Practice Problems

Sample Converting Miles to Kilometers Practice Answers

## Community Q&A

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Question

How do I change yards into meters?

Donagan

Top Answerer

Multiply yards by 1.0936.

**Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.****Thank you for your feedback.**

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Question

How do I convert 850,000 miles per hour to kilometers per second?

Donagan

Top Answerer

Convert the stated number of miles to the equivalent number of kilometers. Then convert one hour to the equivalent number of seconds (3600). Then reduce the fraction by dividing both numerator and denominator by 3600 to get the equivalent number of kilometers per second.

**Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.****Thank you for your feedback.**

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Question

How do I convert meters into kilometers?

Donagan

Top Answerer

Divide meters by 1,000.

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## Tips

If you're in a rush, you can try using an online length converter as a shortcut. A good one is available here.

^{[8]}Just don't get too attached to these sorts of programs — you won't always be able to use them at school or work.Thanks

Helpful0Not Helpful0

Note that the U.S. Survey and international definitions for the length of a kilometer in miles are very slightly different. An international kilometer is

**1.609344**miles, while a U.S. Survey mile is**1.60934721869**miles.Thanks

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## References

- ↑ https://www.rapidtables.com/convert/length/mile-to-km.html
- ↑ https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GOVPUB-C13-f10c2ff9e7af2091314396a2d53213e4/pdf/GOVPUB-C13-f10c2ff9e7af2091314396a2d53213e4.pdf
- ↑ https://www.rapidtables.com/convert/length/km-to-mile.html
- ↑ https://virtualnerd.com/pre-algebra/ratios-proportions/rates-unit-rates/rate-unit-rate-examples/miles-kilometers-convert-example
- ↑ http://www.purplemath.com/modules/units.htm
- ↑ https://virtualnerd.com/pre-algebra/ratios-proportions/rates-unit-rates/rate-unit-rate-examples/miles-kilometers-convert-example
- ↑ http://www.purplemath.com/modules/units.htm
- ↑ http://www.onlineconversion.com/length_common.htm

## About This Article

Reviewed by:

Grace Imson, MA

Math Teacher

This article was reviewed by Grace Imson, MA. Grace Imson is a math teacher with over 40 years of teaching experience. Grace is currently a math instructor at the City College of San Francisco and was previously in the Math Department at Saint Louis University. She has taught math at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. She has an MA in Education, specializing in Administration and Supervision from Saint Louis University. This article has been viewed 352,094 times.

84 votes - 70%

Co-authors: 26

Updated: May 26, 2023

Views:352,094

Categories: Conversion Aids

Article SummaryX

Convert miles to kilometers by multiplying the number of miles by 1.6, since there are 1.6 kilometers in a mile. So, 20 miles is 32 kilometers because 20 x 1.6 = 32 kilometers. If you need a more accurate number, multiply by 1.60934 instead. Using the more accurate method, 20 miles would equal 32.1868 kilometers. If you need to convert kilometers back into miles, simply divide by 1.6 instead. If you want to learn how to use conversion factors to change miles to kilometers, keep reading the article!

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"I am a lover of race cars and sport bikes but many times the speed of the race car or bike are told in miles and..." more

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