How to Find the Length and Width of a Rectangle When Given the Area

Though you cannot determine both the width and length of a rectangle at the same time with just the area, if you know the area and either the length or width, you can find out the measurement of the other side. If you are already familiar with the formula for area -- length times width -- this can be done in just a few steps.

  1. Finding the Length

    • The area of a rectangle is the length multiplied by the width or L x W. Therefore, to determine an unknown length, you simply need to divide the area by the width. For example, if the area of a rectangle is 50 and the width is 20, the equation would be 50 divided by 20 equals 2.5 -- making a very long, narrow rectangle. You can double-check your answer by plugging this value into the formula for area -- L x W -- to see if you get the area you were given. In the example, 2.5 multiplied by 20 is indeed 50, so the answer is correct.

    Finding the Width

    • Find the unknown width of a rectangle by dividing the area by the length. If the area is 25 and the length is 4, the equation would be 25 divided by 4 equals 6.25. Double-check your answer by plugging this value into the formula for area -- L x W -- to see if you get the area you were originally given. 4 multiplied by 6.25 equals 25, so the answer is correct.

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