# Square meters

A square meter (m^{2}) is a unit of measurement of area. 1 square meter is equal to the area of a square with sides that measure 1 meter.

A square area is a measurement made up of two lengths. Square units of area, such as square meters, are a result of multiplying two lengths. In the case of square meters, each length is measured in meters, so multiplying meters × meters results in meters^{2}. The measured area does not need to be in the shape of a square; any area can be calculated, or estimated, as the area made up by some number of unit squares.

For example, a 4 m × 2 m rectangle is made up of 8 squares with an area of 1 m^{2} each. The rectangle therefore has an area of 8 m^{2}:

## Systems of measurement

A square meter is the base unit of area in the International System of Units (SI), the most widely used system of measurement. Square meters can be converted into larger or smaller measurements of area relatively easily due to the structure of SI, which uses prefixes that indicate a specific power of 10 by which the base unit, in this case the meter, is modified. For example, square centimeters may be used to measure a smaller area. The "centi-" prefix indicates 10^{-2}, so to express an area such as 10 m^{2} in cm^{2} multiply by (10^{2})^{2}, or 10,000. This is because there are 100 centimeters in a meter, and 100^{2} (since we are talking about area not length) is 10,000.

It can also be useful to know how to convert between different measurements of area, particularly for those who live in the US, since the US primarily uses US customary units of measurement. Below are the relationships between square meters, square kilometers, and some US customary measurements of area.

1 square meter = 10,000 square centimeters

1,000,000 square meters = 1 square kilometer

1 square meter = 10.764 square feet

4,046.856 square meters = 1 acre

Examples

Convert 57 square meters to square centimeters and square feet.

There are 10,000 cm^{2} in 1 m^{2} and 43,560 ft^{2} in 1 m^{2}, so:

57 × 10,000 = 570,000 cm^{2}

57 × 43,560 = 2,482,920 ft^{2}