# square meter (meter squared)

## What is a square meter (meter squared)?

The square meter, also called the meter squared, is the International System of Units (SI) unit of area. The symbol for square meters is *m ^{2}*. Less formally, square meter is sometimes abbreviated as

*sq m*.

## What is the square meter used to measure?

The square meter is used to measure the area of a square or rectangle. It can also be used to measure the area of a circle, although the SI unit for measuring the area of a circle is square kilometer.

In practical application, one such example for using the square meter is to measure the area of a room in a house or an apartment. It is also used to measure the area of a piece of land.

## How do you calculate the square meter?

To calculate square meters, you need to know the length and width of the square or rectangle. This is also referred to as the *area* of the shape. The formula for calculating square meters is length x width = m^{2}.

For example, if your square has a length of 3 meters and a width of 2 meters, then 3 x 2 = 6 m^{2}.

When calculating area, it is important to realize that area is proportional to the square of the linear dimension. Thus, if all linear dimensions are doubled, the area becomes four times (2^{2}) as great; if all linear dimensions are cut to 1/3, the area becomes 1/9 (1/3^{2}) as great.

An area of 1 m^{2} is equal to 10,000 centimeters squared (10^{4} cm^{2}) or 1,000,000 millimeters squared (10^{6} mm^{2}). In the opposite sense, 1 m^{2} is equal to 0.000001 kilometer squared (10^{-6} km^{2}).

## How can square meters be converted to other units?

The square meter can be converted to other units of area, such as square inches, square kilometers, square feet and square miles.

Note: When converting to non-SI units of area, such as square inches or square miles, the linear-unit conversion factor must be squared.

### Square inches

To convert square meters to square inches, multiply by 1,550.

### Square kilometers

To convert square meters to square kilometers, divide by 1,000,000.

### Square feet

To convert square meters to square feet, multiply by 10.763910417.

### Square miles

To convert square meters to square miles, divide by 2,589,988.1103.

*See also: cubic meter, metric system, Displacement, prefix multipliers*