Place Value

Place value means that each digit within a number represents a value depending on its position. For example, in the number 452, the digit 2 would represent 2 units, the 5 would represent 5 tens (or 50) and the 4 would represent 4 hundreds (400).

Moving from right to left, each digit is 10 times larger, or from left to right, each digit in 10 times smaller. This is also true for decimal numbers.

In order to work out which value represents what, we can use a place value chart.


Example 1.

Let’s use a place value chart to find out what all the numbers in 87 543 mean. To make it easier to put the digits in the right box, we can start by placing the unit in its box first, then moving left.

MillionsHundred ThousandsTen ThousandsThousandsHundredsTensUnits

The 8 represents 80 000

The 7 represents 7 000

The 5 represents 500

The 4 represents 40

The 3 represents 3