Place Value
What Is Place Value?
Place value tells us the value of a digit depending on what place it is in a number.
Place value means the digits tell us the number of hundreds, tens and units in a number, depending on its place:
Dictionary Definition
The Oxford English Dictionary defines place value as "the numerical value that a digit has by virtue of its position in a number."
Understanding Place Value
It is easier to understand place value with an example.
Consider the number 242.35. It is made up of the digits 2, 4, 3 and 5.
The different digits have different place values, called hundreds, tens, units, tenths and hundredths.

The 2 is in the hundreds column. It has a value of 200.

The 4 is in the tens column. It has a value of 40.

The 2 is in the units column. It has a value of 2.

The 3 is in the tenths column. It has a value of 3/10ths.

The 5 is in the hundredths column. It has a value of 5/100ths.
Notice that the digit 2 appears twice in the number, but has a different value depending on what place it is in.
Comparing the Magnitudes of Different Place Values
The place values have different magnitudes (sizes).
Consider the number 111. It has a digit of 1 in the hundreds, tens and units places.
Each place value is 10 times larger than that to its right.

A ten is 10 times larger than a unit.
The 1 in the tens column has a value of 10. This is 10 times larger than the value of the 1 in the units column, which is 1.

A hundred is 10 times larger than a ten.
The 1 in the hundreds column has a value of 100. This is 10 times larger than the value of the 1 in the tens column, which is 10.
Each place value is 10 times smaller than that to its left.

A ten is 10 times smaller than a hundred.
The 1 in the tens column has a value of 10. This is 10 times smaller than the value of the 1 in the hundreds column, which is 100.

A unit is 10 times smaller than a ten.
The 1 in the units column has a value of 1. This is 10 times smaller than the value of the 1 in the tens column, which is 10.