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Convert Miles to Kilometers
Convert Kilometers to Miles

To convert from miles to kilometers by hand, multiply miles by 1.609344
miles * 1.609344 = kilometers

To convert from kilometers to miles by hand, divide kilometers by 1.609344
kilometers / 1.609344 = miles

An automated version of this calculator can be found here:
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(and now the technical stuff, if you're interested)

There are 5280 feet in a mile. Using the international definition of the foot of exactly 30.48 centimeters we find that a mile is exactly 1.609344 kilometers.

5280 ft * 30.48 cm/ft = 160934.4 cm
160934.4 cm / 100 cm/m = 1609.344 m
1609.344 m / 1000 m/km = 1.609344 km

The word mile comes from the Latin word mille, meaning 1000, since the mile was originally 1000 paces (2000 steps). Back in the year 1592 England defined the mile to be 8 furlongs, which is 80 chains, or 320 rods, or 1760 yards, or 5280 feet. This is the basic definition we still use today, the only difference being how we define the foot.

Symbols used:
mile = mi
foot (or feet) = ft
meter = m
kilometer = km
centimeter = cm

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