16 (number)

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← 15 16 17 →
Cardinal sixteen
Ordinal 16th
Numeral system hexadecimal
Factorization 24
Divisors 1, 2, 4, 8, 16
Greek numeral ΙϚ´
Roman numeral XVI
Binary 100002
Ternary 1213
Quaternary 1004
Quinary 315
Senary 246
Octal 208
Duodecimal 1412
Hexadecimal 1016
Vigesimal G20
Base 36 G36
Hebrew ט"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.

In mathematics[edit]

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.

In science[edit]

In languages[edit]


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]

  • Sixteen is the minimum age for being allowed an official beginner's driver's license with parental consent in many U.S. states and in Canada. In Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, and the Isle of Man, it is the age one can begin to get a learner's license
  • A "sweet sixteen" is celebrated by many sixteen-year-old girls in the United States. It is a coming of age celebration that traditionally marks a girl's transition into womanhood. For its significance in popular culture, this "coming of age" has inspired the titles of many songs, such as "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen", "You're Sixteen", "Sweet Sixteen", "U16 Girls" "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Sixteen Candles"
  • Sixteen is the minimum age that one can leave school in many states of the United States and Canada (however, restrictions apply and vary depending on state or province)[2]
  • In the United States, sixteen-year-old girls earn the right to privacy laws surrounding OBGYN practices
  • In Belgium, it is the legal minimum age for a person to purchase any tobacco product.
  • In the United States and Canada, 16 is the most common age of sexual consent, as well as the age in the United Kingdom.[3][4]
  • Sixteen is the minimum age to get married, with parental consent in many countries, and without parental consent in Scotland.
  • Sixteen is the legal drinking age in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal.
  • Minimum age at which one can buy, rent, purchase, buy tickets to, or view a 16+ rated film in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is also the minimum age at which one can accompany a minor under-13 while buying, renting, or purchasing tickets to a 13+ rated movie in the province of Quebec.
  • Minimum age at which one can donate blood (with parental consent) in many U.S. states
  • Minimum age at which one can obtain an adult passport (which lasts ten years) in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
  • Minimum age at which one can join the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom (deployment is only allowed at age 18)
  • Voting age in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, the Isle of Man and Nicaragua, and during the nineteenth century, in the Transvaal Republic.
  • Sixteen is the age of majority in Cambodia, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, and Vietnam.

In sports[edit]

Many leagues and tournaments have 16 teams, 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).

The regular season of the National Football League currently consists of 16 games.

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 January 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Age Of Consent By State". 
  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. ^ http://chancellerie.belgium.be/fr/content/le-16

External links[edit]