16 (number)

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← 15 16 17 →
Numeral systemhexadecimal
Divisors1, 2, 4, 8, 16
Greek numeralΙϚ´
Roman numeralXVI
Base 36G36
Hebrewט"ז (Tet Zayin)

16 (sixteen) is the natural number following 15 and preceding 17. 16 is a composite number, and a square number, being 42 = 4 × 4. It is the smallest number with exactly five divisors, its proper divisors being 1, 2, 4 and 8.

In English speech, the numbers 16 and 60 are sometimes confused, as they sound very similar.

Sixteen is the fourth power of two. For this reason, 16 was used in weighing light objects in several cultures. The British have 16 ounces in one pound; the Chinese used to have 16 liangs in one jin. In old days, weighing was done with a beam balance to make equal splits. It would be easier to split a heap of grains into sixteen equal parts through successive divisions than to split into ten parts. Chinese Taoists did finger computation on the trigrams and hexagrams by counting the finger tips and joints of the fingers with the tip of the thumb. Each hand can count up to 16 in such manner. The Chinese abacus uses two upper beads to represent the 5s and 5 lower beads to represent the 1s, the 7 beads can represent a hexadecimal digit from 0 to 15 in each column.


Sixteen is an even number and a square number.

Sixteen is the fourth power of two.

Sixteen is the only integer that equals mn and nm, for some unequal integers m and n (m = 4, n = 2, or vice versa).[1] It has this property because 22 = 2 × 2. It is also equal to 32 (see tetration).

16 is the base of the hexadecimal number system, which is used extensively in computer science.




  • Saint Markandeya is said to have been granted to live to 16 years of age. When he turned sixteen ,the god of death, Yama, came to look for him and fastened a noose around the saint. The saint hugged the idol of lord Shiva that he worshipped (which can be still found in the Amritaghateswarar-Abirami Temple in Thirukkadaiyur, Tamil Nadu, India.) As the noose was wrapped around both the saint and lord Shiva, this made the lord angry and he appeared in his fierce form and vanquished the lord of death, causing a brief catastrophe in the world where no one died. Eventually, lord Yama was revived and the saint Markandeya was made immortal to be of age sixteen forever.



In Spanish and Portuguese, 16 is the first compound number (Spanish: dieciséis, European Portuguese: dezasseis, Brazilian Portuguese: dezesseis); the numbers 11 (Spanish: once, Portuguese: onze) through 15 (Spanish: quince, Portuguese: quinze) have their own names.

Age 16[edit]

In sports[edit]

Many leagues and tournaments have 16 teams or individual participants, for example:

In both the NBA and NHL, 16 teams qualify for the respective league playoffs; it is also the number of wins needed to win the title (both leagues have four playoff rounds, with four wins in seven games needed to win each round).

In AFL Women's, the top-level league of women's Australian rules football, each team has 16 players on the field at any given time (as opposed to the 18 of almost all other competitions in the sport, most notably the parent Australian Football League for men).

In other fields[edit]

  • 16 steps make up the average bar of music in a 4/4 musical arrangement. The Roland TR-808, for instance, has 16 buttons that light up representing 16 16th notes making up a drum pattern.
  • Sixteen, Kentucky, a community in the United States
  • King of France (August 1754 – 21 January 1793) Louis XVI of France
  • There are 16 ounces in an avoirdupois pound
  • There are 16 pawns in a chess set and each player in a chess game starts with sixteen pieces
Sixteen frames of images


  1. ^ David Wells (1987). The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers. Penguin Books. p. 93.
  2. ^ Mikulecky, Marga (April 2013). "Compulsory School Age Requirements" (PDF). Education Commission of the States. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Age Of Consent By State". Archived from the original on 17 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Age of consent for sexual intercourse".
  5. ^ ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center. "ARTSEDGE: The Poetics of Hip-Hop". artsedge.kennedy-center.org. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]