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MyFox Houston estimates University of Houston professor Jim Granato as saying the it would certainly take someone an ext than 31,000 years to counting to one trillion.

You are watching: How long does it take to count to 1 trillion

Where walk this calculation come from?

Recall that a trillion is a thousand billion, and a exchange rate is a thousands million.

There room 31,536,000 secs in a 365 work year, and also one trillion split by 31,536,000 is around 31,710.

So that looks choose that’s where the calculation of over 31,000 year to counting to one trillion come from: it’s based on an presumption that a human being is counting one number every second.

But let’s think about this a little.


Counting time assumptions

Let’s try to model how long the will take to count to 100 and also then to 1,000, through making some simplifying, yet moderately realistic, assumptions.

Let’s assume that we deserve to say each single word in a name in 1 second.

This is not precisely correct, since it takes much longer to say “nineteen” than it does come say “ten”. Yet what we space assuming is the it will certainly take double as lengthy to to speak “twenty one”, and three time as long to speak “one hundred one”.

Note, through the way, the the answer depends on where one lives. First of all, even in English, people in the UK and in commonwealth countries carry out not counting like civilization in the joined States, and also people in Vietnam and also Germany count differently again, and from every other. I am assuming us English counting.

Counting to 100

The numbers 1 v 20 all take 1 2nd to say, as carry out the 7 number 30, 40, 50 ,60, 70, 80, and also 90, when the remaining 73 numbers as much as 100 all take 2 secs to say.

These space approximations, however they offer us better than assuming all numbers take it the very same time to say.

So our estimated time to counting to 100 is currently


Of food we deserve to do if much faster if we speed it up, yet there’s a long method to go to one trillion so let’s store an also pace. In ~ the end we have the right to think about what would take place if we can say much more number words each second.

Notice the 173 secs is close to the time it would certainly take – 180 seconds – to count 90% of the numbers 1 with 1,00 at 2 seconds each.

Counting to 1,000

With our stated assumptions on exactly how long the takes to say number names, exactly how long will certainly it take united state to counting to 1,000?

Many the the numbers from 101 through 1,000 will take 4 secs to say: numbers like 131 (“one hundred thirty one“) and 273 (“two hundreds seventy three“).

But there space exceptions.

I tried to take into account all exceptions in counting to 1,00 and, below, in counting to 10,000. Come the ideal of my expertise I did no omit any type of exceptions.

Some number from 101 through 1,000 will take 2 seconds to say. These room the 9 numbers 200 (“two hundred“), 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 , 900 and also 1,000 (“one thousand“).

Some numbers from 101 v 1,000 will take 3 seconds to say. There space a lot an ext of these.

Between 101 and 199 these space the 27 number 101 (“one hundred one“) v 120 (“one hundreds twenty“) and 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180 ,190.

Similarly in between 210 and also 299 there room 27 numbers that take 3 secs to say.

The very same goes because that 310 to 399, 410 come 499, 510 to 599, 610 come 699, 710 to 799, 8210 come 899 and 910 to 999.

So there are

number that will take 3 secs to say.

This pipeline 648 numbers between 101 and also 1,000 that will certainly take 4 seconds to say.

So the full time come say every the numbers approximately 1,000 we calculation as

seconds, i beg your pardon is just under 1 hour.

Notice that this is not much off the number we would acquire if just assumed we counted 90% that the numbers up to 1,000 in ~ 4 seconds each.

Counting to 10,000

How long will that take us to counting to 10,000?

Most numbers will take 6 secs to say: numbers choose 1274 (“one thousand two hundred seventy four“), yet again there room exceptions.

Let’s counting these exception to check out how much off would certainly be an estimate of


We already know the exceptions approximately 1,000, therefore let’s look at them native 1,001 on.

There room 9 numbers from 1,001 through 10,000 that require just 2 seconds to say. These are: 2,000, 3,000; 4,000; 5,000; 6,000; 7,000; 8,000; 9,000 and 10,000.

There are 252 numbers in between 1,001 and 10,000 that call for 3 secs to say. These are 1,001 v 1,020; 1,030; 1,040; 1,050 1,060; 1,070; 1,080; 1,090 and also the equivalent numbers in the n,000 variety where n=2, 3, …, 9.

There room 648 number in the selection 1,001 with 10,000 that need 4 secs to say. These room 1,021 v 1,029; 1,031 with 1,039; … , 1,091 v 1,099 and also the equivalent numbers in the

range where

There room

number in the variety 1,001 through 10,000 that call for 5 secs to say. These are the numbers
is a number that takes 3 seconds to say. For each choice of
there space 243 that the latter, as we experienced in counting approximately 1,000.

The continuing to be 5,913 number in the range 1,001 with 10,000 take 6 seconds to say.

So the full time to counting to 10,000 is


Again, this is near to the time we would certainly take – 54,000 – if we counted 90% that the numbers up to 10,000 at 6 secs each.

An estimate of the moment to count to one trillion

Counting every exceptions as we say bigger numbers becomes much more difficult.

However by now we can see a glimmer that a basic pattern: there space many much more numbers indigenous 100 exchange rate to one trillion than there are from one come 100 billion. In reality there room 9 times together many. For this reason by looking just at number from 100 billion to one trillion we space covering 90% of all the numbers from one v one trillion.

Most numbers up to one sunshine take 19 secs to say: numbers favor 832, 521,432,987 (“eight hundreds thirty 2 billion, five hundred twenty one million, four hundred thirty 2 thousand, ripe hundred eighty seven“).

Our general observation is that to count as much as

takes about as lengthy as it would certainly to count 90% of the numbers as much as
in ~ the typical rate.

If this proceeds to hold good up to one trillion then we calculation to count to one trillion would take about

times as long as if we were to counting one number every second.

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That is, we estimate it would take roughly 542,241 years to counting to one trillion.