How to Convert Kilograms to Pounds

By: Mark Mancini  | 
A kilogram scale
It's simple to convert kilograms to pounds. RapidEye/Getty Images

Since the rest of the world (apart from a few other countries) uses the metric system, there are bound to be times you have to convert kilograms to pounds — and vice versa. Pounds are a means of measuring weight. Devotees of the metric system use kilograms to measure a related — but distinct — phenomenon: mass.

In spite of this inconsistency, you often hear "kilograms" and "pounds" mentioned in the same breath. Today, we'll show you the process of converting kilograms into pounds and the inverse.


Convert Kilograms to Pounds (The Textbook Way)

Here's an important figure to remember (if you can): 2.2046

See, 1 kilogram is equal to 2.2046 pounds. So, to make a conversion between the two measurements, you'll need to use this number.


Let's say your Canadian friend Bob tells you his dog Rex weighs 34 kilograms. What does that mean in terms of pounds?

Unfortunately, the formula isn't quite as simple as just taking the relevant amount of kilograms and multiplying it by 2.2046. But don't worry; it's still pretty darn simple.

First, we must write down two separate fractions: 34 kilograms divided by 1 and 2.2046 pounds divided by 1 kilogram. Then, we'll have to multiply the former by the latter.

Here's what that equation looks like when expressed numerically:

(34 kilograms/1) x (2.2046 pounds/1 kilogram)

The division by 1 might seem pointless. But we need it to do our conversion. Note that the "kilograms" notations in those two fractions will cancel each other out. But the "pounds" notation? That's not going anywhere. Ergo, we're left with:

(34/1) x (2.2046 pounds/1)

Like they taught us in grade school, a number divided by 1 equals itself. With this knowledge in mind, we can now rewrite our equation like so:

34 x 2.2046 pounds = 74.96 pounds

Therefore: 34 kilograms is equal to 74.96 pounds, or 75 pounds, rounded up.

Yeah, it's probably safe to assume Rex isn't lap dog material ...


Convert KG to LBS (the Quick Way)

Let's say you're not in math class any more. You just want to know approximately how much Bob's darn dog weighs in pounds and right away.

Simply multiply 34 by 2.2. This gives you 74.8 pounds. Close enough.


Or if you have no calculator handy:

  1. Multiply your kilograms by 2.
  2. Take the total and move the decimal space one spot to the left.
  3. Add the two numbers together.

Here's how it looks:

  1. 34 x 2 = 68
  2. Moving the decimal space one spot to the left gives you 6.8
  3. 68 + 6.8 = 74.8

Here's a handy kg to lbs converter:


Convert Pounds to Kilograms

OK, having established Rex's weight in pounds, let's take the reverse approach. How do you convert pounds into kilograms?

The technique is similar; again, we'll be multiplying one fraction by another. Let's say Rex weighs 68 pounds.


Here's our new formula:

(68 pounds/1) x (1 kilogram/2.2046 pounds)

This time, the two "pounds" will be canceling each other out. We are now left with the following:

(68/1) x (1 kilogram/2.2046)

And hey, since we've got a number divided by one here, it's possible to simplify things a bit.

68 x (1 kilogram/2.2046)

Pause! Take a look at everything between those two parentheses. What's 1 kilogram divided by 2.2046?

Why 0.45 kilogram, of course. So now, we've got:

68 x 0.45 kilogram = 30.6 kilograms

The quick way? Just divide 68 by 2.2. You'll get 30.9 kilograms.


Frequently Answered Questions

How much is one kilogram to one pound?
There are about 2.2 lbs in 1 kg.
How do you convert body weight from kilograms to pounds?
To convert body weight from kilograms to pounds, you can use the conversion factor of 1 kilogram equal to 2.2 pounds.
What is the international avoirdupois pound?
The international avoirdupois pound is a unit of weight that is equal to approximately 0.453592 kilograms.