What is Trillion? Billions, Millions?Who is Billionaire? Who is Trillionaire?

We come across the words million, billion, trillion when we read or listen to businesses, governments, astronomers and journalists. How many zeroes are in a million? A billion? A trillion? Are there bigger numbers than Trillion. Who is Billionaire? Who is Trillionaire? How many billionaires in India?

A million is 1,000,000 or 106 (1 with 6 zeros)

A billion is 1,000,000,000 or 109 (1 with 9 zeros)

A trillion is 1,000,000,000,000, or 1012 (1 with 12 zeros)

Example of where million, trillion etc are used

Sun is 149.6 million km away from Earth while Moon is only 0.384 million km away (384,400 km)

India’s 2019 population is estimated at 1.365 billion which is 136.5 crores.

U.S. Nominal GDP in 2019 was $21.44 trillion

There are 2095 billionaires(Mar 2020), with the total wealth of around $ 8.7 trillion

Did you know that  In 2009, Zimbabwe printed a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note, which was worth only about US$30? 

trillion dollar zimbabwe note
A trillion-dollar Zimbabwe note

How do we write big numbers

To write a number, the digits are placed from left to right under the places labelled as Units, Tens, Hundreds, Thousands… etc., and read accordingly. For example, consider number 393071425. The number is read as Three hundred and ninety-three million,  seventy-one thousand four hundred and twenty five.

Commas in number

To read easily and understand the value we write big numbers with commas separating sets of three zeros. For example, you write one million not as 1000000. but as 1,000,000. 

It’s easier to remember that a billion is written with four sets of three zeros than it is to count out 9 separate zeroes.

Scientific way of writing numbers

Scientific notation is a convenient way of writing very large or very small numbers so that it is easier to use in computations and  compare A number written in scientific notation is of the form a * 10n where a is the non-zero number between 1 and 10 and n is the number of digits up to the decimal point for example

700 is written as 7 × 102 

4,900,000,000 is written as 4.9 × 109

In scientific notation, million is written as 1×106, billion as 1×109 and trillion as 1×1012

How many Zeros in Millions, Billions, Trillions?

After 100, The most common way to get next bigger number is the power of 10 increases by 3 for each new number, which means you add three extra zeros to the end of the number to get the next number. This happens till Quadragintillion or 10 ^123 and then it increases in powers of 30.

 Value Name Number of Zeroes  Value in
scientific notation
Prefix Symbol
1 one 100
10 ten 1 101 deca da
100 hundred 2 102 hecto h
1,000 thousand 3 103 kilo k
1,000,000 million 6 106 mega M
1,000,000,000 billion 9 109 giga G
1,000,000,000,000 trillion 12 1012 tera T
1,000,000,000,000,000 quadrillion 15 1015 peta P
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion 18 1018 exa E
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 sextillion 21 1021 zetta Z
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 septillion 24 1024 yotta Y

Millions, Billions and Lakhs, Crores

The Indian numbering system is different from the International Numbering System in terms of Names and Placement of Commas as shown in the image below. Our article Indian and International Numbering: Lakhs,Crores,Millions,Billions, Calculator explains it in detail.

To convert millions to lakh multiple by 10. To convert lakhs to millions divide by 10.

 To convert billions to crores multiple by 100. To convert crores to billions divide by 100.

Indian vs International Number System Lakhs, Crores, Millions and Billions
Indian vs International Number System Lakhs, Crores, Millions and Billions

Billion and Billionaires

A billionaire is a person with a net worth of at least one billion United States dollar.

The American business magazine Forbes produces a global list of known U.S. dollar billionaires every year. For daily updated net worths of all  billionaires, go to forbes.com/real-time-billionaires

The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller was the world’s first U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916, and still holds the title of history’s wealthiest individual.

Centibillionaire (or centi-billionaire) is used for a billionaire worth one hundred billion dollars (100,000,000,000). This was first achieved in 2017 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $112 billion.

Top Billionaires of the world,Richest men of the world
Top Billionaires of the world

Billionaires in India

In 2019, India had 106 billionaires which put the country fourth in the world, after the United States, China and Germany. List from Wikipedia is given below.

Our article Mukesh Ambani: Richest Man of India covers details of Mukesh Ambani.

Rank Name Net worth (USD) Sources of wealth
1 Mukesh Ambani 53.0 billion Reliance Industries
2 Lakshmi Mittal 18.6 billion ArcelorMittal
3 Shiv Nadar 16.1 billion HCL
4 Radhakishan Damani 15.6 billion D Mart
5 Uday Kotak 15 billion Kotak Mahindra Bank
6 Kumar Mangalam Birla 9.6 billion Aditya Birla Group
7 Cyrus Poonawalla 9.1 billion Serum Institute of India
8 Dilip Shanghvi 7.6 billion Sun Pharma
9 Azim Premji 7.2 billion Wipro
10 Nusli Wadia 7.0 billion Wadia Group
11 Sunil Bharti Mittal 6.5 billion Bharti Enterprises
12 Savitri Jindal 5.9 billion Jindal Group
13 Benu Gopal Bangur 5.2 billion Shree Cement
14 Acharya Balakrishna Subedi 4.9 billion Patanjali Ayurved
15 Bajaj family 4.8 billion Bajaj Group
16 Karsanbhai Patel 5.7 billion Nirma Group
17 Kushal Pal Singh 4.7 billion DLF Group
18 M. A. Yusuff Ali 4.7 billion LuLu Group
19 Rahul Bajaj 4.4 billion Bajaj Group
20 Kuldip Singh Dhingra, Gurbachan Singh Dhingra 4.4 billion Berger Paints
21 Ajay Piramal 4.4 billion Piramal Group
22 Vikram Lal 4.3 billion Eicher Group
23 Micky Jagtiani 4.1 billion Landmark Group
25 Kapil Bhatia, Rahul Bhatia 4.0 billion Indigo Airlines
26 Sudhir Mehta, Samir Mehta 4.0 billion Torrent Group
27 Ashwin Dani 3.9 billion Asian Paints
28 Ravi Pillai 3.9 billion RP Group
29 Anil Agarwal 3.8 billion Vedanta Resources
30 Hasmukh Chudgar 3.6 billion Intas
31 Pankaj Patel 3.6 billion Zydus Cadila
32 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 3.5 billion Biocon
33 Munjal family 3.5 billion Hero MotoCorp
34 Murali Divi 3.4 billion Divis Laboratories
35 Ashwin Choksi 3.1 billion Asian Paints
36 Chandru Raheja 2.9 billion K Raheja Corp
37 Vinod Gupta, Anil Rai Gupta 2.8 billion Havells
38 Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 2.8 billion investments
39 Mangal Prabhat Lodha 2.8 billion Lodha Group
40 Kalanithi Maran 2.8 billion Sun Group
41 P.V. Ramprasad Reddy 2.8 billion Aurobindo Pharma
42 Shashi Ruia, Ravi Ruia 2.8 billion Essar Group
43 B. R. Shetty 2.8 billion healthcare
44 Smita Crishna-Godrej 2.7 billion consumer goods
45 Adi Godrej 2.7 billion consumer goods
46 Jamshyd Godrej 2.7 billion consumer goods
47 Nadir Godrej 2.7 billion consumer goods
48 Rishad Naoroji 2.7 billion consumer goods
49 Aloke Lohia 2.6 billion petrochemicals
50 Vijay Shekhar Sharma 2.6 billion financial technology
52 Anand Mahindra 2.6 billion automobiles
53 Venugopal Dhoot 2.6 billion electronics
54 Byju Raveendran 2.5 billion software services, education
55 M G George Muthoot 2.5 billion financial services
56 Abhay Firodia 2.4 billion automobiles
57 Harsh Goenka 2.3 billion diversified
58 Baba Kalyani 2.3 billion steel & forging
59 G. V. Prasad 2.3 billion pharmaceuticals
60 Nandan Nilekani 2.2 billion software services

Trillion and Trillionaire

A study titled ‘The Trillion Dollar Club’ was conducted by firm Comparisun and it has predicted that Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon, could become the world’s first trillionaire in 2026. Jeff is the world’s richest person in 2020 with a net worth is $142.8 billion.

Comparisun study analysed the market capitalisation of 25 most valued companies that are listed with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and also studied the net worth of top the world’s 25 richest persons as per the Forbes list. The average percentage of their annual growth over the past five years was calculated and applied for future years to arrive at the research projection.

The other candidates who could join the trillion-dollar club are Evergrande head Xu Jiayin, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, and Reliance Industries’ (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani, Mark Zuckerberg. Ambani could become a trillionaire by 2033.

Companies like Apple, Microsoft are Trillion Dollars Company by Market Capitalization (Number of shares X stock price)

The billionaires who can became trillionaires
The billionaires who can become trillionaires
Companies which are in $1 trillion club
Companies which are in $1 trillion club

Are there Bigger Numbers than Million, Billion, Trillion

Name Google, was inspired by a very large number called Googol which is 10^100.

Yes, there are numbers bigger than Million, Billion and Trillion as shown in the image below. Mostly the power of 10 increases by 3 for each new number, which means you add three extra zeros to the end of the number to get the next number. This happens till Quadragintillion or 10 ^123 and then it increases in powers of 30. Some of the famous big numbers are

  • Googol (10^100 ),
  • Skewer’s Number(10^130),
  • Centillion (10^303)
  • Googolplex(10^ googol )
  • Skewes’ Number ((10^10)^10)^34
Name Number of Zeros Number
Ten 1 10
Hundred 2 100
Thousand 3 1,000
Ten thousand 4 10,000
Million 6 1,000,000
Billion 9 1,000,000,000
Trillion 12 1,000,000,000,000
Quadrillion 15 1,000,000,000,000,000
Quintillion 18 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
Sextillion 21 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Septillion 24 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Octillion 27 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Nonillion 30 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Decillion 33 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Undecillion 36 1 x 1036
Duodecillion 39 1 x 1039
Tredecillion 42 1 x 1042
Quatttuor-decillion 45 1 x 1045
Quindecillion 48 1 x 1048
Sexdecillion 51 1 x 1051
Septen-decillion 54 1 x 1054
Octodecillion 57 1 x 1057
Novemdecillion 60 1 x 1060
Vigintillion 63 1 x 1063
Unvigintillion 66 1 x 1066
Duovigintillion 69 1 x 1069
Trevigintillion 72 1 x 1072
Quattuorvigintillion 75 1 x 1075
Quinvigintillion 78 1 x 1078
Sexvigintillion 81 1 x 1081
Septenvigintillion 84 1 x 1084
Octovigintillion 87 1 x 1087
Nonvigintillion 90 1 x 1090
Trigintillion 93 1 x 1093
Untrigintillion 96 1 x 1096
Duotrigintillion 99 1 x 1099
Ten-duotrigintillion (or Googol) 100 1 x 10100
Skewer’s Number 130 1 x 10130
Centillion 303 1 x 10303
Googolplex
Skewes’ Number skewes number

Long scale and short scale for Large Numbers

There are two ways of saying big numbers Short scale and Long scale.

For whole numbers smaller than 1,000,000,000 (10^9 ), such as one thousand or one million, the two scales are identical. For larger numbers, starting with 10^ 9, the two systems differ. The long scale increases by powers of one million, whereas the short scale increases by powers of one thousand.

For example, In science and finance and in the USA a trillion is 1,000 billion, which is written as a one followed by 12 zeros. This is also called a short scale.

But there is also a long scale, which is used in France and was previously used in the United Kingdom, in which a trillion means 10 to the power 18 – thus, a million million million (tri- as in tricycle, tripod, triangle, etc.)

Often in Europe, you hear “Milliarde” in German, “miljard” in Dutch, “milyar” in Turkish and “миллиард” in Russian which are standard usage when discussing financial topics. The names ending in -illiard for numbers of the form 10^6n+3. Ex 10^9 is Milliard while 10^16 is Billiard

Due to its dominance in the financial world by the US dollar, short scale was adopted for official United Nations documents.

For more details, one can read our article Numbers bigger than Million, Billion, Trillion: Googol, Zillion

Infographic on Biggest Currency Notes Ever Printed

During hyperinflation, many countries printed note of big amounts for example In 2008 Zimbabwe printed a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note, which was worth only about US$30. Zimbabwe had hyperinflation between 2004 and 2009. The government printed money to pay for the war in the Congo. More details about hyperinflation in our article What is HyperInflation?

In 1993 Yugoslav issued its biggest note, worth 500 billion dinars with the bill less than US$10

in 1946 Hungary after WWII printed a 100 million Pengo Note

Biggest Currency Notes Ever printed
Biggest Currency Notes Ever printed

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2 Comments

  1. […] The following image shows the Indian and International numbering system. What is Trillion? Billions, Millions? Who is Billionaire? Who is Trillionaire? you can find details here. […]

  2. […] What is Trillion? Billions, Millions? Who is Billionaire? Who is Trillionaire? […]

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