1 mile is 1,760 yards, which means that 1 mile is the equivalent of 5,280 feet. So, knowing this, to answer the question “How many blocks is a mile?” we just need to know the size of a block in feet. But that’s where things start to get a little bit more tricky. Let’s take a look at why …
How many blocks is a mile?
As we just mentioned, for us to work out how many blocks are in a mile, we need to know the block size in feet. Then we can simply divide the number of feet in a mile by this block size to get the number of blocks in a mile. That is, we can use the following formula:
The number of blocks in a mile = the number of feet in a mile / the size of a block in feet.
The problem is that different cities have different block sizes, so you need to know which particular city you’re trying to get the answer for. And even then, some cities have different block sizes in different areas, for example New York.
So you really need to know the block size in the area of the city that you’re interested in. Or for a more general answer, you can just take the average block size for that city. That said, here’s a few examples:
In New York, the average block size is about 750 feet. So using our formula we can see that there are about 5,280 / 750 = 7 blocks in a mile, on average.
In Tucson, Arizona, on the other hand, the block size is 400 feet. Again using our formula above gives us the answer that there are 5,280 / 400 = 13.2 blocks in a mile.
And in Portland, Oregon, the block size is just 200 feet. This equates to 26.4 blocks in a mile.
Finally, to complicate things even further some cities have rectangular blocks rather than square. For example, in San Francisco the block size is 420 feet by 275 feet, so the number of blocks in a mile depends on which direction you’re headed.