How Much is a Trillion?

We have been using the word “trillion” a lot lately. A trillion-dollar deficit. Trillions of dollars in debt. Romney wanted to increase military spending by $2 trillion.

It used to be that a billion was a lot. Now, a billion here and a billion there does not seem like a big deal.

How much is a trillion?

Intellectually we know that a trillion is a million million. That still does not help.

When laying dollar bills end to end, how long would a row of a trillion dollars be?

About 94 million miles. The mean distance from the earth to the sun is 92 million miles. There you have it. You could pave a path to from here to the sun using a trillion one-dollar bills.

How long is a trillion seconds?

31,709 years. A trillion seconds ago homo sapiens just started moving into Europe challenging the Neanderthals. All of modern humanity is only a trillion seconds old.

That’s how much a trillion is.

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