## The Difference Between Square Units and Units Square popular

**The Difference Between Square Units and Units Square:
Are "Square Miles" and "Miles Square" the Same Thing?**

When referring to the units used for area measurements, such as those
associated with a parcel of land, is there a difference between "square units"
and "units square"? In other words, is a "5 mile square" piece of land the
same size as one that is "5 square miles"? Many consider these terms
interchangeable, so it may surprise you to find out that these two phrases do
in fact mean different things.

Say you want to know the total area of a parcel of land using a unit of
measurement expressed as the square of a unit of length (as opposed to units
that are not squares of other units, like acre or hectare). You would, of
course, use the term "square units", as in "square feet" or "square meters".
For example, the total area of a one acre piece of land is one acre or 43,560
square feet. The parcel being measured can be any shape - even if it is not
square, its area may still be expressed as square feet, square meters, or any
other square unit.

In contrast, a parcel that is 43,560 "feet square" is indeed a square piece of
land, many times larger than one acre. While "square units" refers to the
total area of a two-dimensional object of any shape, "units square" refers to
the number of units on each side of a square (the length of each side of the
square). Therefore, a parcel that is 43,560 feet square is 43,560 feet long on
each side, with a total area of 43,560 ft x 43,560 ft = 1,897,473,600 square
feet (equal to 43,560 acres).

For example, consider two square pieces of land: one is 7 square miles, and the
other is 7 miles square. The total area of the first parcel is 7 square miles.
If the parcel is a square, the length of each side is equal to the square root
of 7 square miles, which is approximately 2.65 miles. In contrast, the length
of each side of the second parcel is 7 miles, for a total area of 7 miles x 7
miles = 49 square miles.

A few more simple examples: a 2 feet square piece of land has an area of 4
square feet (2 feet x 2 feet), a 20 meter square parcel has an area of 400
square meters (20 meters x 20 meters), and 100 square miles is equal to a piece
of land that is 10 miles square.

Browse conversion factors and examples for length and area units **here.**

Added: Wed Oct 15 2008

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