The difference between a million and a billion dollars [graphic]

When reading over earnings reports, doing valuation assessments, or running any other financial analysis, it’s sometimes hard to conceptualize the difference between two very large sums. To that end, here’s a helpful visual on the massive difference between $1 million and $1 billion, from Abu Amin on Quora:

A billion dollars looks like this in 100 dollar bills. You’d need ten forklift rides to cart it around:

For comparison, a million dollars in 100 dollar bills looks like this – a daypack would do:

So when Apple announces it did $39 billion in revenue last quarter, and has over $110 billion in cash reserves… you can get a better sense of what that’s all about.

  • M*rk

    When I was teaching I asked my students the difference between a million and a billion.  Most had no idea of the relationship.  I illustrated it by telling them that if you counted by seconds it would take a little of 12 days to get to a million.  If you counted by seconds to a billion it would take about 32 YEARS.  I don’t think many adults know the relationship between a million and billion.  How about the relationship to a billion and a trillion?  1000 billions equals 1 trillion.  Wrap your head around that number…

  • Guest

    Or compare that to the multi-Trillion dollar deficit.  Now that’s a visual.

  • dikweed

    How about a trillion?
    Like our national debt.

  • Joseph Simon

    Shell we do a trillion to a billion to a million?

  • Lcohen40

    Another (and for me better) way to explain it is this:
    If you had a million dollars and were told to spend $1,000 per day, you would spend it all in three years. Spending a billion dollars would take you three thousand years!

  • DAG

    Why not throw a trillion in there while you’re at it?

  • Ric06971

    1 trillion would stack as this 100dollar bills stacked 111ft 1.5in high and cover an entire pro football stadum incl the endzones

  • Reo

    Show me a stack at 16 TRILLION and then show me a stack of the 300 trillion dollars in outstanding obligations to the gubment UNIONS that is actually owed by the taxpayers at this moment.

  • Chuck Dewey

    The picture is not exactly correct.It would take 10,000 100 dollar bills to make a million dollars, and that would not fit in a back pack. More like a couple of suitcases!

    • RonBlough

      Per guest each bundle would be 3/4″ thick x 100 bundles = 75″
      75″ / 12″ = 6.25ft high stack.
      Bills are 6″ x 2.5″ = .104166sf ea.
      Stacks are 3/4″ high
      Say the avg. suitcase is 12″high x 24″wide x 36″long this equals 6sf
      It will only take 58 bundles to cover bottom of suit case.
      There is only 100 bundles, so it would only be 1.5″ or 2 stacks deep.
      It will fit in a back pack!

  • Wolf

    16 trillion and rising.  Thanks Obama.

    • yohohoho

      Ah, yes. Obama personally spent all $16 trillion of that himself.

      • Icandomath

         you’re right, according to the CBO he has only spent $13.98 trillion.  To bad for America tax revenue was only $9 trillion.  or in the spirit of the article’ 9,000,000,000,000 – 13,900,000,000,000= – $4,980,000,000,000

      • patriot

        No, Nacy Pelosi helped him.

      • YourMom

         not to burst your bubble or anything, but he did do a lot of it

  • guest

    1,000,000 = 10,000 one hundred dollar bills each weighs in at 1 gram, each bundle has 100 bills or $10,000. so you get around 22 lbs and one hundred bundles each bundle is only 3/4 inches. You could get them all into a back pack.

    • RonBlough

      1gm per bill = 10,000 gm
      448gm = 1 pound
      10,000gm / 448gm = 22.32#
      Nice Job!

  • MLaperle

    Looks to me like they’re talking about the British Billion, which is a million million, as opposed to an American Billion, which is a thousand million.  If it’s an American Billion, then I’d say only one of those pallets would be enough.  If it’s a British Billion, then 1,000 of those pallets would be needed.  Just sayin’.