The area of a shape is the amount of space inside the shape.
Areas can be found by counting squares or by using a formula.
Finding areas − by counting squares
For the rectangle shown you can count the number of squares.
Counting the squares, there are 21 square centimetres (squares with each side of length 1 cm)

Finding areas − by using a formula
It can be seen that there are three rows of seven squares so a quicker way to get the area would be to multiply 3 by 7. This method gives an equation or formula, which works for any rectangle:
Area = length × width = 7 × 3 = 21 square centimetres.

Units
The units used for measuring areas depends on the units used for measuring the length of the shape.
If the units of a shape are not given, the area is given as units^{2}.
A square metre is the area occupied by a square with each side 1 metre long. It is written as 1 m^{2}.
Other common units for area are:
Unit 
Symbol 
Units for measuring: 
Square centimetre 
cm^{2} 
Small shapes 
Square kilometres 
km^{2} 
Large areas such as the area of countries 
Hectare 
ha 
Land area, e.g. farms 
Area Formulae
Shape

Name 
Area 

Square 
A = length × width
= l^{2}


Rectangle 
A = base × height
= b × h
= bh

Converting between units
To convert between units of area is sometimes confusing. A diagram often helps.
Example 
Square metres into square centimetres
To convert 1 m^{2} into cm^{2.}
Multiply by 10 000


From the diagram
1 m^{2} = 100 × 100 cm^{2} = 10 000 cm^{2}

Hectares into square metres
Convert 1 ha into m^{2}^{.}
Multiply by 10 000


From the diagram
1 ha = 100 × 100 m^{2} = 10 000 m^{2}

Composite Shapes
Composite shapes are shapes made up of shapes such as squares, rectangles, semicircles etc.
To find out the area of composite shapes, break the larger shape up into smaller ones for which you can find the area.
Example 
First method 
Find the area of the following composite shape:

Break the shape up into two rectangles and find the missing measurements:
Area needed = area of A + area of B
= 10 × 5 + 7 × 6 = 92 cm^{2}

Another method 
Yet another method! 
Break the shape up into two other rectangles and find the missing measurements:
Area needed = area of C + area of D
= 4 × 5 + 12 × 6 = 92 cm^{2}

Find the area of the bigger rectangle and subtract the unneeded bit.
Area needed = area of rectangle − unneeded bit
= 10 × 12 − 7 × 4 = 92 cm^{2}

