How Many Yards Are in a Mile

As observed in ancient times, the concept mile is also used to describe or translate a wide range of units that were derived from the Roman mile, the nautical mile. 

Miles and yards are the units of measurement commonly used while calculating and measuring the area of a given place.

Just so you don’t assume or guess wrongly, we have taken the time to not only answer the question of how many yards are in a mile but also give a logical explanation as to why it is so.

Read on.

How Many Yards Are in a Mile

There are actually 1760 yards in a mile, meaning that, 1 mile is 1760 yards. 


Miles and yards are the units of measurement commonly used while calculating and measuring the area of a given place.

The conversion factor for converting miles to yards is given as, 1 mile = 1760 yards.

You can also use this easy and accurate metric conversion calculator to convert the given quantity from yards to miles in seconds.

Therefore, we can say 1 mile is accurately equal to 1760 yards.

According to generally accepted customs and traditions

  • English Statue Mile is 1,760 Yards
  • Roman Mile is 1,620 Yards
  • Nautical Mile is 2,025 Yards
  • Scottish Mile is 1,976 Yards
  • Irish Mile is 2,240 Yards

Further Explanation

1760 yards is a mile because there are 3 feet in a yard and 5280 is the important figure here.

It could be said that the numbers for imperial measurements are ‘pseudo-random’ and that’s utterly incorrect.

The numbers may seem random if you’ve grown up in a totally decimal world but they absolutely aren’t.

They are older systems but that doesn’t mean the people who came up with them just plucked the numbers out of the air.

The figures were logically thought out, it’s only because you’ve grown up with base 10 that you can’t see the benefits to base 12.

So – Why 5280 feet exactly? Because like most of the common imperial measurements it divides neatly into many common divisors.

That’s how they were designed to work and that’s how the numbers were arrived at. 5280 divides exactly by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12.

That means that as someone with no calculator and only basic knowledge of mathematics you can easily calculate half a mile, or a third, or a fifth, or a twelfth.

If you think about it for longer than two minutes then this is a vast benefit. Whole numbers of yards (or inches or minutes; yes our time uses this system too) are much much easier to think in than long strings of decimal places.

How far is a third of a kilometer? 333.333333333333m. If you need to mark out that exact distance that’s really quite hard to do.

But how far is a third of a mile? 1760 feet exactly. It’s the same on the small scale; a third of a foot is 4 inches, and a third of a meter is 33.333cm.

Also, because these figures are the whole number you can add together weird combinations quite easily. What is a third of a mile plus an eighth of a mile? 1760 + 660 = 2420 feet.

It’s hard to get across just how valuable this capability is to people who’ve been fairly well educated and brought out to think that decimal measurements are just ‘correct’ and obviously so easy to work with.

The imperial system is designed for people with minimal schooling and who have to think about day-to-day physical objects in the real world that are not easily divisible into very small fractions.

We work vastly better thinking in whole numbers and we can handle much more complex mathematics when we are working from simple whole numbers.

The overall argument, in truth, is the argument of decimal (base 10) vs duodecimal (base 12).

While most of us feel like decimal is just the obvious and natural choice in truth it’s completely arbitrary.

It makes no difference really, it’s simply a matter of preference.

Base 12 is much easier for normal people handling small numbers but is far less ideal for anyone working in very large numbers.

In science where we are talking about huge numbers or tiny numbers, decimal helps us in thinking about things because something like 8∗1098∗109 gives a round number where in base 12 it doesn’t.

That’s why we changed to decimal stuff for many things, and why scientists in the US use meters and kilograms.

Now that most people are more educated and learn about exponents and algebra at school it’s much less of a big deal for things to be easily divisible.

We also have much more accurate measuring and weighing equipment capable of diving physical objects into very accurate amounts; it’s machines cutting our cloth and steel and most things really.

It’s not that big a deal now, and when you teach kids to think in base 10 then they handle it fine.

But I think it’s important to note that other places in the world do still work in base 12 and teach their kids that way.

You can even count on your fingers in base 12 (you count on the segments on your fingers)!

Notably, we still use base 12 times because it’s something that everyone uses every day and those simple divisors help a lot.

It’s so very helpful for a quarter of an hour to be a whole number of minutes, for example.

It’s hugely important to never assume that things created in the past must be bad simply because we don’t use them anymore.

Just like today, those who were formulating standard units thought hard about how that system was going to be used.

The imperial system suffers from some ‘design by committee’ problems where many parts of the system work in different ways because it was the culmination of lots of less formal systems being slowly standardized over a long period, and that’s where much of the confusion comes from.

Some work on 12 some on 14 or 16 some on 24.

There are lots of weird and seldom-used units too like chains and furlongs that really aren’t integral to the system but that get dredged up to illustrate how silly it all is.

What is a ‘quarter’? It was 28 pounds. Why? Because that is a quarter of a hundredweight. Obviously.

Don’t presume that imperial unit are stupid just because you weren’t brought up to use them.

There are reasons for them and while maybe we’ve grown past the point where those reasons are all that big of a deal to us they served their purpose well for a long time.

The fact that you can build battleships and fighter planes (as Britain and the US did) of the imperial system illustrates that these systems are just as accurate and effective.

They are much less suited to a computerized, technologically focused world but they aren’t random or wrong; just made for a different time.


Certainly, 1760 yards make a mile, said differently, 1 mile is 1760 yards. 

For more conversion questions, leave them via the comment box below and we will respond.

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