The conversion illustration. Photo: Grade Calculator
The conversion illustration. Photo: Grade Calculator

Converting from kilograms to pounds is a common task in the realms of math and engineering, but, luckily, it's an easy one. In most cases, all you need to do to convert is to multiply the number of kilograms by 2.2 to get the number of pounds. In general, it can be said that there are 2.2046 pounds per kilogram.

What is a Kilogram?

Definition: A kilogram (symbol: kg) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI). It is currently defined based on the fixed numerical value of the Planck constant, h, which is equal to 6.62607015 × 10-34 in the units of J·s, or kg·m2·s-1. The meter and the second are defined in terms of c, the speed of light, and cesium frequency, ΔνCs. Even though the definition of the kilogram was changed in 2019, the actual size of the unit remained the same. The changes were intended to improve the definitions of SI base units, not to actually change how the units are used throughout the world.

History/origin: The name kilogram was derived from the French "kilogramme," which in turn came from adding Greek terminology meaning "a thousand," before the Late Latin term "gramma" meaning "a small weight."

Unlike the other SI base units, the kilogram is the only SI base unit with an SI prefix. SI is a system based on the meter-kilogram-second system of units rather than a centimeter-gram-second system. This is at least in part due to the inconsistencies and lack of coherence that can arise through use of centimeter-gram-second systems, such as those between the systems of electrostatic and electromagnetic units.

The kilogram was originally defined as the mass of one liter of water at its freezing point in 1794, but was eventually re-defined, since measuring the mass of a volume of water was imprecise and cumbersome.

A new definition of the kilogram was introduced in 2019 based on Planck's constant and changes to the definition of the second. Prior to the current definition, the kilogram was defined as being equal to the mass of a physical prototype, a cylinder made of a platinum-iridium alloy, which was an imperfect measure. This is evidenced by the fact that the mass of the original prototype for the kilogram now weighs 50 micrograms less than other copies of the standard kilogram.

Current use: As a base unit of SI, the kilogram is used globally in nearly all fields and applications, with the exception of countries like the United States, where the kilogram is used in many areas, at least to some extent (such as science, industry, government, and the military) but typically not in everyday applications.

What is a Pound?

Definition: A pound (symbol: lb) is a unit of mass used in the imperial and US customary systems of measurement. The international avoirdupois pound (the common pound used today) is defined as exactly 0.45359237 kilograms. The avoirdupois pound is equivalent to 16 avoirdupois ounces.

History/origin: The pound descended from the Roman libra, and numerous different definitions of the pound were used throughout history prior to the international avoirdupois pound that is widely used today. The avoirdupois system is a system that was commonly used in the 13th century. It was updated to its current form in 1959. It is a system that was based on a physical standardized pound that used a prototype weight. This prototype weight could be divided into 16 ounces, a number that had three even divisors (8, 4, 2). This convenience could be the reason that the system was more popular than other systems of the time that used 10, 12, or 15 subdivisions.

Current use: The pound as a unit of weight is widely used in the United States, often for measuring body weight. Many versions of the pound existed in the past in the United Kingdom (UK), and although the UK largely uses the International System of Units, pounds are still used within certain contexts, such as labelling of packaged foods (by law the metric values must also be displayed). The UK also often uses both pounds and stones when describing body weight, where a stone is comprised of 14 pounds.

Why Convert Weight from Kilograms to Pounds?

The United States of America uses the customary units of measurement. Similarly, in the UK the Imperial units are used. The Imperial or USA customary unit for the measurement of weight (or mass) is a pound. If you have some weight figures in kilograms; and you need the same figures in equivalent pounds, you can use this converter.

The formula of Converting Kilograms into Pounds

To convert kilograms into pounds, just divide the kilogram figure by 0.45359237

Now let's take an example of how to convert kilograms into pounds. Let's say someone's weight is 76 kg. But that person has to fill his weight in a form in pounds. He will just need to do the following calculation:

76 / 0.45359237 = 167.551 lb

Easy Steps to Convert Kilograms into Pounds

Photo: Wikihow
Photo: Wikihow

Step 1: Write the number of kilograms. Converting from kilograms to pounds is simple. Best of all, once you know how to do it, it's something that you can use in a wide variety of situations. Start with the number of kilograms you want to convert.

For example, let's say that you want to convert 5.9 kilograms to pounds. In the next few steps, we'll do just this.

Step 2: Multiply by 2.2. Next, just multiply your kilogram measurement by 2.2. The answer you get is the number of pounds that is equal to your kilogram measurement.[2]

In the example from above, you can convert by multiplying 5.9 by 2.2. 5.9 × 2.2 = 12.98 pounds.

Don't forget the "pounds" label. If you're doing this calculation for schoolwork, you can lose points if you leave the label off. If you're doing the calculation for something else, the person who reads your work may misunderstand your answer.

Step 3: For greater accuracy, multiply by 2.2046. Technically, multiplying kilograms by 2.2 to get pounds is sort of a "shortcut" for easier conversions. If you want to get the most accurate result possible, you'll probably want to use a more accurate value for the conversion. 2.2046 should be accurate enough for most purposes.

In the example above, if we use the more-accurate value, we get 5.9 × 2.2046 = 13.00714 pounds. This is a minor difference, but if we're aiming for very precise measurements, this may be the better choice.

If you want to be even more accurate, consider using a conversion factor with more decimal places. At an extreme level of accuracy, one kilogram is equal to 2.2046226218 pounds.[3]

Step 4: To get back to kilograms, divide by 2.2. Getting from a pounds measurement back to kilograms is as simple as dividing the number of pounds by your conversion factor. In other words, if you used the basic "2.2" conversion above, divide by 2.2. If you used 2.2046, divide by 2.2046, and so on.

In the example from above, you can get from 12.98 pounds back to the original kilogram measurement like this: 12.98/2.2 = 5.9 kilograms. Don't forget the label!

Don't mix and match your conversion factors — only divide by the number you originally multiplied by. For instance, since you got 13.00714 pounds when you used the more accurate 2.2046 conversion, you wouldn't divide by 2.2. This would give you 13.00714/2.2 = 5.912 kilograms, which is slightly different from your starting 5.9 kilograms.

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How to Convert Kilograms to Pounds
Photo: Mixi

Common Conversion from Kilogram to Pound

Kilogram [kg] Pound [lbs]

0.01 kg 0.0220462262 lbs

0.1 kg 0.2204622622 lbs

1 kg 2.2046226218 lbs

2 kg 4.4092452437 lbs

3 kg 6.6138678655 lbs

5 kg 11.0231131092 lbs

10 kg 22.0462262185 lbs

20 kg 44.092452437 lbs

50 kg 110.2311310924 lbs

100 kg 220.4622621849 lbs

1000 kg 2204.6226218488 lbs

In this video, you will see how to easily convert kilograms to pounds:

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