A visualisation of one hectare
General information
Unit systemNon-SI unit accepted for use with SI
Unit ofArea
1 ha in ...... is equal to ...
   SI base units:   104 m2
   Imperial and US customary units   11,960 sq yd
2.4711 acres
Image comparing the hectare (the small blue area at lower left) to other units. The entire yellow square is one square mile.

The hectare (/ˈhɛktɛər, -tɑːr/; SI symbol: ha) is a non-SI metric unit of area equal to a square with 100-metre sides (1 hm2), that is, 10,000 square meters (10,000 m2), and is primarily used in the measurement of land. There are 100 hectares in one square kilometre. An acre is about 0.405 hectares and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

St. Enda's GAA ground, in Omagh. The playing field used in Gaelic football and hurling is a little over a hectare in size.

In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as 100 square metres, or one square decametre, and the hectare ("hecto-" + "are") was thus 100 ares or 1100 km2 (10,000 square metres). When the metric system was further rationalised in 1960, resulting in the International System of Units (SI), the are was not included as a recognised unit. The hectare, however, remains as a non-SI unit accepted for use with the SI and whose use is "expected to continue indefinitely". Though the dekare/decare daa (1,000 m2) and are (100 m2) are not officially "accepted for use", they are still used in some contexts.


Comparison of area units
Unit SI
1 ca 1 m2
1 a 100 m2
1 ha 10,000 m2
100 ha 1,000,000 m2
1 km2
non-SI comparisons
non-SI metric
0.3861 sq mi 1 km2
2.471 acre 1 ha
107,639 sq ft 1 ha
1 sq mi 259.0 ha
1 acre 0.4047 ha
Trafalgar Square has an area of about one hectare.

The hectare (/ˈhɛktɛər, -tɑːr/), although not a unit of SI, is the only named unit of area that is accepted for use with SI units. The name was coined in French, from the Latin ārea. In practice the hectare is fully derived from the SI, being equivalent to a square hectometre. It is widely used throughout the world for the measurement of large areas of land, and it is the legal unit of measure in domains concerned with land ownership, planning, and management, including law (land deeds), agriculture, forestry, and town planning throughout the European Union, New Zealand and Australia (since 1970). However, the United Kingdom, the United States, Myanmar (Burma), and to some extent Canada, use the acre instead of the hectare for measuring surface or land area.[citation needed]

Some countries that underwent a general conversion from traditional measurements to metric measurements (e.g. Canada) required a resurvey when units of measure in legal descriptions relating to land were converted to metric units.[citation needed] Others, such as South Africa, published conversion factors which were to be used particularly "when preparing consolidation diagrams by compilation".

In many countries, metrification redefined or clarified existing measures in terms of metric units. The following legacy units of area have been redefined as being equal to one hectare:


The metric system of measurement was first given a legal basis in 1795 by the French Revolutionary government. The law of 18 Germinal, Year III (7 April 1795) defined five units of measure:

  • The metre for length
  • The are (100 m2) for area [of land]
  • The stère (1 m3) for volume of stacked firewood
  • The litre (1 dm3) for volumes of liquid
  • The gram for mass

In 1960, when the metric system was updated as the International System of Units (SI), the are did not receive international recognition. The International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) makes no mention of the are in the 2019 edition of the SI brochure, but classifies the hectare as a "Non-SI unit accepted for use with the International System of Units".

In 1972, the European Economic Community (EEC) passed directive 71/354/EEC, which catalogued the units of measure that might be used within the Community. The units that were catalogued replicated the recommendations of the CGPM, supplemented by a few other units including the are (and implicitly the hectare) whose use was limited to the measurement of land.

Unit family

Definition of a hectare and of an are

The names centiare, deciare, decare and hectare are derived by adding the standard metric prefixes to the original base unit of area, the are.


The decimilliare (dma, sometimes seen in cadastre area evaluation of real estate plots) is 110,000 are or one square decimetre. Such usage of a double prefix is non-standard. The decimilliare is roughly a four-inch-by-four-inch square.


The centiare is one square metre.


The deciare (rarely used) is ten square metres.


The are (/ɑːr/ or /ɛər/) is a unit of area, equal to 100 square metres (10 m × 10 m), used for measuring land area. It was defined by older forms of the metric system, but is now outside the modern International System of Units (SI). It is still commonly used in speech to measure real estate, in particular in Indonesia, India, and in various European countries.

In Russian and some other languages of the former Soviet Union, the are is called sotka (Russian: сотка: 'a hundred', i.e. 100 m2 or 1100 hectare). It is used to describe the size of suburban dacha or allotment garden plots or small city parks where the hectare would be too large. Many Russian dachas are 6 ares in size (in Russian, шесть соток).


The decare or dekare (/ˈdɛkɑːr, -ɛər/) is derived from deca and are, and is equal to 10 ares or 1000 square metres. It is used in Norway and in the former Ottoman areas of the Middle East and Bulgaria as a measure of land area. Instead of the name "decare", the names of traditional land measures are usually used, redefined as one decare:


Metric and British imperial/United States customary comparisons
Unit name Symbol Multiple of
preceding unit
Fraction of
succeeding unit
SI equivalents British imperial/United States customary
centiare ca 0.1 da 1 m2 10.76391 sq ft
deciare da 10 ca 0.1 a 10 m2 11.95990 sq yd
are a 10 da 0.1 daa 100 m2 3.95369 perches
decare daa 10 a 0.1 ha 1000 m2 0.988422 roods
hectare ha 10 daa 0.01 km2 10000 m2 2.47105 acres
square kilometre km2 100 ha 1000000 m2 0.386102 sq mi
An acre shown inside a hectare for size comparison

The most commonly used units are in bold.

One hectare is also equivalent to:


The Unicode character U+33CA SQUARE HA, in the CJK Compatibility block, is intended for compatibility with pre-existing East Asian character codes. It is not intended for use in alphabetic contexts.

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-04-17 17:49 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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