Numbers of Zeros in a Million, Billion, Trillion, and More

Learn how many zeros are in all numbers, even googol

Big numbers
A guide to learning the amount of zeroes in large numbers. TwilightEye / Getty Images

If you have ever wondered what number comes after a trillion, read on. For example, do you know how many zeros there are in a vigintillion? Someday you may need to know this for science or math class. Then again, you might just want to impress a friend or teacher. 

Numbers Bigger Than a Trillion

The digit zero plays a very important role as you count very large numbers. It helps track these multiples of 10 because the larger the number is, the more zeroes are needed.

In the below table, the first column lists the name of the number, the second provides the number of zeros that follow the initial digit, while the third tells you how many groups of three zeros you would need to write out each number.

NameNumber of ZerosGroups of (3) Zeros
Ten1(10)
Hundred2(100)
Thousand31 (1,000)
Ten thousand4(10,000)
Hundred thousand5(100,000)
Million62 (1,000,000)
Billion93 (1,000,000,000)
Trillion124 (1,000,000,000,000)
Quadrillion155
Quintillion186
Sextillion217
Septillion248
Octillion279
Nonillion3010
Decillion3311
Undecillion3612
Duodecillion3913
Tredecillion4214
Quatttuor-decillion4515
Quindecillion4816
Sexdecillion5117
Septen-decillion5418
Octodecillion5719
Novemdecillion6020
Vigintillion6321
Centillion303101
 

All of Those Zeros

A table, as the one above, can certainly be helpful in listing the names of all of the subsequent numbers depending on how many zeros they have. But it can be really mind-boggling to see just what some of those numbers look like.

Below is a listing, including all of the zeros, for the numbers up to decillion. For comparison, that's a little more than half the numbers listed in the above table.

Ten: 10 (1 zero)
Hundred: 100 (2 zeros)
Thousand: 1000 (3 zeros)
Ten thousand 10,000 (4 zeros)
Hundred thousand 100,000 (5 zeros)
Million 1,000,000 (6 zeros)
Billion 1,000,000,000 (9 zeros)
Trillion 1,000,000,000,000 (12 zeros)
Quadrillion 1,000,000,000,000,000 (15 zeros)
Quintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (18 zeros)
Sextillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (21 zeros)
Septillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (24 zeros)
Octillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (27 zeros)
Nonillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (30 zeros)
Decillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (33 zeros)

Zeros Grouped in Sets of Three

Except for relatively small numbers, names for sets of zeros is reserved for groupings of three zeros. You write numbers with commas separating sets of three zeros so that it's easier to read and understand the value. For example, you write one million as 1,000,000 rather than 1000000.

As another example, it's much easier to remember that a trillion is written with four sets of three zeros than it is to count out 12 separate zeroes. While you might think that one's pretty simple, just wait until you have to count 27 zeros for an octillion or 303 zeros for a centillion.

It is then that you will be thankful that you only have to remember nine and 101 sets of three zeros, respectively.

Numbers With Very Large Numbers of Zeros

The number googol (termed by Milton Sirotta) has 100 zeros after it.​ Sirotta came up with the name for the number when he was just 9 years old. Here's what the number looks like, including all of its required zeros:

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Do you think that number is big? How about the googolplex, which is a 1 followed by a googol of zeros.

The googolplex is so large it doesn't have any meaningful use yet. The number is larger than the number of atoms in the universe.

MILLION AND BILLION: AMERICAN vs. BRITISH

In the United States, as well as around the world in science and finance, a billion is 1,000 million, which is written as a 1 followed by 9 zeros.

This is also called the "short scale."

There is also a "long scale," which is used in France and previously was used in the United Kingdom, in which a billion means 1 million million. According to this definition of a billion, the number is written with a 1 followed by 12 zeros. The short scale and long scale were described by French mathematician Genevieve Guitel in 1975.