Credit: Leonid Mamchenkov CC-BY 2.0
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# What is a whole number?

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A whole number belongs to the set of integers that are equal to or greater than zero. For example, the set of numbers {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...} contains all of the whole numbers.

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Negative numbers and decimals are not considered whole numbers, although negative numbers are considered integers. The set for integers can be written as { ... -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, … }. A counting number is any whole number except for zero and is shown by the set {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, … }. The term "natural number" may refer to either the set of whole numbers or the set of counting numbers.

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## Related Questions

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The lowest whole number with six digits is 100,000, which is greater than 99,999, the greatest whole number with five digits. A whole number is defined as any integer that is zero or greater, meaning that it does not contain fractions.

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To determine the numeric value of a percentage of a whole number, convert the percentage into a decimal by moving the decimal point two places to the left, and multiply that by the whole number. For example, to find 50 percent of 20, multiply .50 by 20 to get 10.

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The history of whole numbers is as old as the concept of counting itself, but the first written whole numbers appeared between 3100 and 3400 B.C. Prior to that time, whole numbers were written as tally marks, and there are records of tally marks denoting whole numbers that date back to 30,000 B.C.