Growing up in Canada, I was always confused by the use of both the imperial and metric systems. I remember in school when my teacher asked us to measure the length of the classroom in meters, I accidentally used feet instead, and ended up giving a very wrong answer. This became a running joke in my class, but I learned quickly to always double-check which system I was supposed to be using!

The metric system is a system of measurement used in many countries around the world. It is based on the meter, kilogram, and liter as the core units of measurement, and is then further divided into smaller units. This system is based on the powers of 10, which makes calculations easier.

The imperial system is a system of measurement used mainly in the United Kingdom and its former colonies. It is based on the yard, pound, and gallon as the core units of measurement, and is then further divided into smaller units. This system is based on a traditional set of weights and measures, which have been in use for centuries.

Imperial measurements are based on the Imperial system, which is based on the foot, pound, and gallon. Metric measurements are used in most other countries and are based on the metric system, which is based on the meter, gram, and liter. Metric measurements are easier to use since they are based on multiples of 10. Imperial measurements can be confusing since they are based on odd numbers like 12 or 16.

Also, when converting from imperial to metric, you need to use conversion factors. This article lists out all of the everyday common conversions for measuring in the metric system versus the imperial system.

## What Is the Metric System and Where Did It Come From?

The Metric System is an internationally accepted system of measurements for length, mass, and volume. It is based on the decimal system and uses base units of meters for length, kilograms for mass, and liters for volume. It originated in France in the late 1700s and has since become the most widely used system of measurement in the world.

## Why Doesn’t the U.S. Use the Metric System?

The United States has never officially adopted the metric system, and it remains the only industrialized nation that does not primarily use the metric system. One reason they didn’t adopt the metric system may be that the cost of switching would be too high for the US government and the many industries affected, especially manufacturing. Additionally, American industry has been slow to adopt the metric system because of the cost of converting processes, products, and packaging to the metric system. Finally, many Americans are simply resistant to change and prefer to stick with the customary system they are used to.

## Countries Using the Imperial System

- Myanmar
- Liberia
- United States of America

## What Is the Imperial System and Where Did It Come From?

The Imperial system, also known as the British Imperial System, is an old system of weights and measures that was used in the United Kingdom and its former colonies. It is based on the traditional English units of length, weight, and capacity and is often referred to as the “foot-pound-second” system. The system was developed in the late 18th century and is still used in some parts of the world today, unfortunately.

## Main Differences Between Metric System and Imperial System

• The metric system uses units of measurement based on the powers of 10, while the Imperial system uses a combination of feet, inches, miles, and gallons.

• The metric system is based on the decimal system and is simpler to use, while the imperial system is based on complex fractions and is more difficult to use.

• The metric system uses scientific prefixes to denote different units, while the imperial system uses specific names to denote different units.

• The metric system is used by most countries in the world, while the imperial system is mainly used in the United States and the United Kingdom.

• The metric system is preferred by scientists due to its accuracy, while the imperial system is preferred by engineers due to its more practical nature.

## Is the Metric System Better Than the Imperial System?

The Metric System is a simpler and more consistent system than the Imperial System. It divides measurements into units that are easily understood and are based on a decimal system, as in using a base of 10, making conversions between them easier. The Metric System is also widely used in science and engineering and is the most widely–used measurement system in the world. Additionally, the Metric System is more consistent in the way it defines and measures units, making it easier to use in calculations and applications.

## Metric System vs. Imperial System Conversion Charts

When comparing the metric vs imperial system, you’ll find that every unit is a different name and a different length. But, since most measurement units are used for everyday objects and discussion, they’re nearly all directly comparable across systems.

### Fundamental Units Comparison Chart

Measurement | Metric Units | Imperial Units |

long length | meter/metre | mile, yard |

short length | centimeter/centimetre | foot, inch |

mass/weight | gram | ounce, pound |

volume (liquid) | liter/litre | gallon, pint, quart |

volume (dry) | liter/litre | bushel, peck, pint, quart |

### Metric vs Imperial Measurement Conversions for Length

Here are the most common units of length and how to convert them:

Metric Units | Imperial Units |

1 meter | 3.28084 feet |

1 foot | 0.3048 meters |

1 centimeter | 0.3937 inches |

1 inch | 2.54 centimeters |

1 kilometer | 0.621371 miles |

1 mile | 1.60934 kilometers |

1 yard | 0.9144 meters |

1 meter | 1.09361 yards |

### Metric vs Imperial Measurement Conversions for Area

Here are the main units of conversion for measuring area or size:

Metric Units | Imperial Units |

0.405 hectare | 1 acre |

0.093 square meter | 1 square foot |

2.590 square kilometers | 1 square mile |

### Metric vs Imperial Area Measurement Conversions for Liquid Measures

Here are the common conversion measurements for liquids:

Metric Units | Imperial Units |

1 liter | 33.814 ounces |

3.785 liters | 1 gallon |

29.573 milliliters | 1 ounce |

0.473 liter | 1 pint |

0.946 liter | 1 quart |

### Metric vs Imperial Measurement Conversions for Weight/Mass

Here are some common conversions for measuring weight and mass:

Metric Units | Imperial Units |

0.454 kilogram | 1 pound |

1 kilogram | 2.2 pounds |

1 gram | 0.035 ounces |

28.350 grams | 1 ounce |

0.907 metric ton | 1 short ton |