AP Style Millions, Billions, Trillions

Use figures with million, billion, or trillion in all except casual uses. For example,

  • I’d like to make a billion dollars.

-but-

  • The nation has 1 million citizens.
  • I need $8 billion.
  • The government ran a deficit of more than $1 trillion.

Do not go beyond two decimal places. For example,

  • 7.51 million people
  • $256 billion
  • 7,549,899 people
  • $2,234,239,000

Decimals are preferred where practical. For example,

  • 1.5 million

-not-

  • 1 1/2 million

Do not mix millions and billion in the same figure. For example,

  • 2.5 billion

-not-

  • 2 billion 500 million

Do not drop the word million or billion into the first figure of a range. For example,

  • He is worth $4 million to $5 million.

-not-

  • He is worth $4 to $5 million.

Unless that is, of course, you actually mean $4.

Note that a hyphen is not used to join the figures and the word “million” or “billion,” even in this type of phrase,

  • The president submitted a $300 billion budget.

In headlines, abbreviate only millions, billions. For example,

  • $5M lawsuit, $17.4B deficit

See also AP Style Numbers.

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