How Many Feet Are in a Mile?


Quick Answer

There are 5,280 feet in one mile. On average, the distance from Earth to the moon is about 238,855 miles, and the air distance from California to New York is 2,485 miles.

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Full Answer

The term mile derives from a Roman measure of length called the "mille passum," which literally means "a thousand paces." One Roman pace equaled five roman feet, and the "mille passum" was 5,000 feet. When the British began using the mile, they related it to the furlong, which was a very common length used in agriculture. In 1592, the British Parliament decided that a mile would equal eight furlongs. One furlong equals 660 feet, and eight furlongs equal 5,280 feet. According to Mental Floss there are three countries that still do not officially use the metric system, as of 2014: the United States, Liberia and Burma.

The comparable unit in the metric system is the kilometer, which is the measurement seen on road signs in most other industrialized countries. One mile equals approximately 1.61 kilometers.

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