Compare 4-digit numbers

Learning focus

Learn how to compare 4-digit numbers.

This lesson includes:

  • a catch-up quiz
  • a learning summary


To get started, let's see how well you know this topic already. Take the catch-up quiz below to find out.


When comparing numbers, use the greater than (>), less than (<) or equal to (=) signs.

Look carefully at the digits in each place value column. Numbers can look very similar and use the same digits but in a slightly different order!

Comparing 4-digit numbers is exactly the same as comparing 3-digit numbers, but you also have a digit in the thousands column.

Example 1

Which symbol < or > should go in the gap?

9732 __ 9723

Both numbers use the same digits. Look carefully at each place value column.

  • 9732 has 9 thousands, 7 hundreds, 3 tens and 2 ones.
  • 9723 has 9 thousands, 7 hundreds, 2 tens and three ones.

Since both numbers have the same amount of thousands and hundreds, you have to look at the tens to decide which has a larger amount - 9732!

9732 > 9723

Example 2

Which is the second smallest number here?


All numbers are in the 6 thousands, so you should look at the hundreds column to help you order them from smallest to largest.

Since two of them have the same amount of hundreds and tens, look at the ones to compare.


Now they are in ascending order, you can see that 6129 is the second smallest number in the list.


Play Guardians: Defenders of Mathematica to learn more and sharpen your skills on this topic.

Guardians: Defenders of Mathematica

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