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Izyaslav Vinogradov
Izyaslav Vinogradov

What Is a Trillion? A Short Scale and Long Scale Comparison

Originally, the United Kingdom used the long scale trillion. However, since 1974, official UK statistics have used the short scale. Since the 1950s, the short scale has been increasingly used in technical writing and journalism, although the long scale definition still has some limited usage.[1][2]

When Italy used the lira as currency, eventually converted at about 2,000 lira to the euro, it was found that Italians were more comfortable with words for large numbers such as trillion than British people.[2]



The words billion and trillion, or variations thereof were first used by French mathematicians in the 15th century.[2] The word trillion was first used in the 1680s and comes from the Italian word trilione.[3][better source needed][contradictory]

We joined forces to urgently speed up and scale up the positive power of forests. Together, we are committed to protect and restore one trillion trees, for the benefit of people, nature and a stable climate.

Based on the test findings, the researchers calculated that humans can discriminate more than 1 trillion scents. This number most likely represents a lower limit, since only 128 odors, in mixtures of 30 or less components, were tested.

In recent days, advanced economies and China have put together massive government packages which, according to the Group of 20 leading economies (G20), will extend a $5 trillion lifeline to their economies.

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The full details of these stimulus packages are yet to be unpacked, but an initial assessment by UNCTAD estimates that they will translate to a $1 trillion to $2 trillion injection of demand into the major G20 economies and a two percentage point turnaround in global output.

Even so, the world economy will go into recession this year with a predicted loss of global income in the trillions of dollars. This will spell serious trouble for developing countries, with the likely exception of China and the possible exception of India.

Given deteriorating global conditions, fiscal and foreign exchange constraints are bound to tighten further over the course of the year. UNCTAD estimates a $2 trillion to $3 trillion financing gap facing developing countries over the next two years.

First, a $1 trillion liquidity injection; a kind of helicopter money drop for those being left behind through reallocating existing special drawing rights at the International Monetary Fund and adding a new allocation that will need to go considerably beyond the 2009 allocation made in response to the global financial crisis.

Second, a debt jubilee for distressed economies. An immediate debt standstill on sovereign debt payments should be followed by significant debt relief. A benchmark could be the German debt relief administered after World War II, which cancelled half of its outstanding debt. On that measure, around $1 trillion should be cancelled this year overseen by an independently created body.

In January 2020, President Trump announced the United States would join World Economic Forum's One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious global effort to grow and conserve one trillion trees worldwide by 2030.

While there has been considerable attention by policymakers on federal student loan interest rates taken out for the 2013-2014 academic year, outstanding student loan debt owed by existing borrowers continues to swell. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that outstanding debt is approaching $1.2 trillion as of May 2013. We also estimate that student loans guaranteed or held by the federal government have now crossed the $1 trillion mark.

Other funding sources for higher education expenses: Estimates for outstanding student loan debt exclude other credit products that may be used for education expenses. However, many families utilize home equity loans, credit cards, and loans from retirement plans to pay for educational expenses. As a result, debt incurred for higher education may actually be much larger than the $1.2 trillion estimate.

Six COVID-19 relief laws enacted in 2020 and 2021 provided about $4.6 trillion of funding for pandemic response and recovery. As of January 31, 2023, the most recent date for which government-wide information was available, the federal government obligated a total of $4.5 trillion and expended $4.2 trillion, or 98 and 90 percent, respectively, of these relief funds as reported by federal agencies to the Department of the Treasury in accordance with Office of Management and Budget guidance.

A budget deficit occurs when money going out (spending) exceeds money coming in (revenue) during a defined period. In FY 0, the federal government spent $ trillion and collected $ trillion in revenue, resulting in a deficit. The amount by which spending exceeds revenue, $ trillion in 0, is referred to as deficit spending.

Legislation increasing spending on Social Security, health care, and defense that outpace revenue can increase the deficit. While revenue increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, from approximately $3.5 trillion in 2019 to $4 trillion in 2021, increased government spending related to widespread unemployment and health care caused spikes in the deficit. Visit to learn more about the federal response to COVID-19.

Based on our model results, we estimate that at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are currently floating at sea (Table 1). There was a good correspondence between the model prediction and measured data for particle count and weight (Figs. S1 and S2, Table S4). Our estimates suggest that the two Northern Hemisphere ocean regions contain 55.6% of particles and 56.8% of plastic mass compared to the Southern Hemisphere, with the North Pacific containing 37.9% and 35.8% by particle count and mass, respectively. In the Southern Hemisphere the Indian Ocean appears to have a greater particle count and weight than the South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans combined.

The budget deficit fell by half between Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and FY 2022, from $2.8 trillion to $1.4 trillion. While the Biden Administration has tried to take credit for this "historic deficit reduction," we estimate that over 100 percent was the result of shrinking or expiring COVID relief. And while roughly 22 percent of the gross improvements come from changes in economic projections (more than offset by the cost of student debt cancellation), those economic changes will actually increase future deficits by over $1.5 trillion between 2023 and 2032.

Bank of America today announced a goal of deploying and mobilizing $1 trillion by 2030 in its Environmental Business Initiative in order to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy. This commitment will anchor a broader $1.5 trillion sustainable finance goal by both environmental transition and social inclusive development purposes, spanning business activities across the globe.

How a $2.8 trillion stimulus translates into aggregate demand depends on the multipliers. With a multiplier of 1, the combined programs generate an additional demand of $2.8 trillion, or nearly 3 times an overly generous estimate of the output gap of $900 billion. With a multiplier of 0.3, the stimulus comes close to filling the gap, and there is no longer any reason to worry about overheating.

A detailed analysis of the multipliers associated with the various dimensions of the program under current conditions is beyond my capacity. A useful exercise, however, is to look at the different elements of the $1.9 trillion program and use the multipliers given in the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) 2014 report, table 3-5 (realizing that the conditions may be different today from what they were then), to see what they imply for aggregate demand.

Humans can discriminate several million different colors and almost half a million different tones, but the number of discriminable olfactory stimuli remains unknown. The lay and scientific literature typically claims that humans can discriminate 10,000 odors, but this number has never been empirically validated. We determined the resolution of the human sense of smell by testing the capacity of humans to discriminate odor mixtures with varying numbers of shared components. On the basis of the results of psychophysical testing, we calculated that humans can discriminate at least 1 trillion olfactory stimuli. This is far more than previous estimates of distinguishable olfactory stimuli. It demonstrates that the human olfactory system, with its hundreds of different olfactory receptors, far outperforms the other senses in the number of physically different stimuli it can discriminate.

The $32 trillion gross federal debt includes debt held by the public as well as debt held by federal trust funds and other government accounts. In very basic terms, this can be thought of as debt that the government owes to others plus debt that it owes to itself.

We use the range of multipliers the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) uses when monetary policy is very accommodating to calculate the effects of increased demand on GDP. At the lower end, the multiplier results in an increase in real GDP of $0.50 for every dollar of increase in aggregate demand. At the higher end, the multiplier results in an increase in real GDP of $2.50 for every dollar of increase in aggregate demand. Our estimated results of the $1.9 trillion package reflect a weighted average of those multipliers, with 60 percent weight on the low multiplier and 40 percent weight on the high multiplier. That stems from our judgment that supply constraints will lead more downward pressure on real economic activity from inflation than is typical when the economy responds to fiscal stimulus during periods of very accommodating monetary policy.

Consider the most common estimate: $1 trillion. This figure is usually tied to promised infrastructure investment. Note the two key qualifiers: infrastructure and promised. Infrastructure, which the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project tracks, is a major component of the BRI, but as noted earlier, not the entirety of it. There is a natural lag between infrastructure pledges and actual investment, given the complexity of the project planning and construction process. But China, like other countries, also tends to promise more than it delivers.


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