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# What Units Is the Metric System Based On?

The kilogram is one of the units which forms the basis for the metric system. A kilogram is one thousand grams.

Tomasz Sienicki, Creative Commons
Question: What Units Is the Metric System Based On?
Answer: The metric system is a decimal-based system of measurement originally based on the meter and kilogram, which were introduced by France in 1799. Decimal-based means all the units are based on powers of 10. In order to convert between units, it's only necessary to multiply or divide by powers of 10. For example, 1 meter is 100 centimeters (multiply by 102 or 100). 1000 milliliters is 1 liter (divide by 103 or 1000).

### More About the Metric System

Overview of Metric Units
Table of Derived Metric Units
Metric Unit Prefixes
##### Metric System Quizzes

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.