How much bigger is 16 pizza vs 14?



Pizza, more than just a delightful dish, is a subject of intrigue when it comes to its size. The choice between a 16-inch pizza and a 14-inch pizza might seem trivial, but in reality, it’s a decision that impacts the quantity, value, and satisfaction derived from this beloved Italian dish. By understanding the science and math behind pizza sizes, you can elevate your pizza ordering experience, ensuring you get the best bang for your buck and the perfect amount for your gathering.

The Geometry of Pizza

Before diving into the specifics of our two sizes in question, it’s essential to grasp the basic geometry of a pizza. A pizza is a circle, and the measurements associated with circles play a pivotal role in determining the size of a pizza.

  • Diameter: This is the length of a straight line passing through the center of the circle, connecting two points on its circumference. In the context of pizzas, the diameter gives us the size, such as 14-inch or 16-inch.
  • Radius: Exactly half the diameter, the radius is the distance from the center of the circle to any point on its circumference. The radius is crucial because it’s used in the formula to calculate the area of the pizza.
  • Circumference: The distance around the circle. While not directly influential in our size comparison, it’s a fundamental concept in circle geometry.

Calculating Pizza Area

The area of a circle (or pizza, in this case) is calculated using the formula:



  • (Pi) is a mathematical constant approximately equal to 3.14159.
  • is the radius of the circle.

Using this formula, we can determine the area of both the 14-inch and 16-inch pizzas:

  • For a 14-inch pizza:
    • Diameter = 14 inches
    • Radius = 7 inches (half of 14)
    • Area = �×72 = 153.94 square inches
  • For a 16-inch pizza:
    • Diameter = 16 inches
    • Radius = 8 inches (half of 16)
    • Area = �×82 = 201.06 square inches

The difference in area between these two sizes is not just 16 square inches (as the difference in diameter might suggest). Instead, the 16-inch pizza offers an additional 47.12 square inches of deliciousness. But to truly appreciate this difference, it’s essential to understand it in percentage terms. The website Compare Pizza Sizes provides a comprehensive breakdown, but let’s delve into the math ourselves.

Percentage Difference in Area

To find out how much larger a 16-inch pizza is compared to a 14-inch one, we use the formula:

���������� ����������=(����16−���ℎ−����14−���ℎ)����14−���ℎ×100

Plugging in our previously calculated values:

���������� ����������=(201.06−153.94)153.94×100

This gives us a result of approximately 30.6%. In simpler terms, a 16-inch pizza is about 30.6% larger in area than a 14-inch pizza. This significant difference can influence your decision, especially when ordering for a group or considering the price difference between the two sizes.

The Illusion of Size

One might wonder, “How does a mere 2-inch increase in diameter result in such a substantial difference in area?” The answer lies in the properties of circles. A small increase in the radius (or diameter) leads to an exponential increase in area. This is because the area is proportional to the square of the radius. Thus, even a slight increase in diameter can lead to a much larger pizza, both in terms of area and the amount of toppings and deliciousness it can hold.

The Value Proposition of Pizza Sizes

When you’re hungry and craving pizza, the mathematical intricacies might not be your primary concern. However, understanding the value proposition can ensure you get the most out of your money. The difference in area between a 14-inch and a 16-inch pizza isn’t just a matter of more food; it often translates to a better deal in terms of cost per square inch.

  • Cost Analysis: Let’s assume a 14-inch pizza costs $12, and a 16-inch pizza is priced at $15. At first glance, the larger pizza is $3 more expensive. But when you consider the area, the 16-inch pizza offers more pizza per dollar spent. Using the areas we calculated earlier:
    • Cost per square inch for 14-inch pizza: $12/153.94 = $0.078
    • Cost per square inch for 16-inch pizza: $15/201.06 = $0.074

The 16-inch pizza, in this case, offers better value for money, being cheaper per square inch. Tools like the Pizza Size Value Calculator can help you quickly determine which size offers the best bang for your buck.

Serving Size and Gatherings

Another practical consideration is the number of servings. Whether you’re hosting a party, having a family dinner, or just enjoying a personal treat, the size of the pizza matters.

  • 14-inch Pizza: Typically serves 2-3 adults.
  • 16-inch Pizza: Can comfortably serve 3-4 adults.

If you’re ordering multiple pizzas for a gathering, understanding the area difference can help you order efficiently. For instance, two 14-inch pizzas offer more area combined than a single 16-inch pizza. So, for larger groups, multiple smaller pizzas might be a better choice, especially if you want a variety of toppings.

Toppings and Flavor Distribution

The size of a pizza also affects the distribution of toppings. Larger pizzas have more surface area, which means toppings are spread out more. This can impact the flavor in each bite.

  • Consistency: A larger pizza might offer a more consistent flavor profile, with toppings evenly distributed across slices.
  • Variety: With a larger surface area, there’s room for more variety in toppings. Some pizzerias offer “half-and-half” pizzas, allowing you to choose two different sets of toppings for each half of a larger pizza.

Crust Considerations

While our primary focus has been on the area of the pizza, the crust is an integral part of the experience. The thickness of the crust doesn’t change the area, but it does affect the volume and, consequently, the overall quantity of food.

  • Thin Crust: Offers a crispier experience and is less filling. The difference in area between the two sizes is more pronounced with thin crusts, as there’s less volume overall.
  • Thick Crust or Deep Dish: These pizzas are more filling due to the increased volume. The area difference might not feel as significant because the thickness compensates for it.

Environmental and Storage Considerations

Larger pizzas require larger boxes, which has environmental implications. More cardboard is used, and if you’re conscious about waste, this is something to consider. Additionally, storage can be a challenge. A 16-inch pizza box might not fit easily in a standard refrigerator, making leftovers a bit tricky to store.

The Experience Factor

Beyond the math and practicalities, there’s the experience of enjoying a pizza. Some people love the satisfaction of finishing an entire pizza by themselves, making a 14-inch a more suitable choice. Others relish the idea of leftovers, making the 16-inch pizza a gift that keeps on giving, ensuring a delightful meal for another day.

Common Misconceptions About Pizza Sizes

The world of pizza, despite its delicious simplicity, is riddled with misconceptions. Let’s address some of the most common myths:

  • Linear vs. Area Growth: One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that a 2-inch increase in diameter means you’re getting a pizza that’s only slightly larger. As we’ve seen, the growth is exponential due to the squared relationship in the area formula. A 16-inch pizza isn’t just a bit larger than a 14-inch pizza; it’s substantially more in terms of area.
  • Slices Equal Size: Another myth is equating the number of slices with size. Pizzas can be sliced in various ways, and a larger pizza might have the same number of slices as a smaller one, but each slice will be larger.
  • Bigger is Always Better: While a larger pizza often offers better value in terms of cost per square inch, it might not always be the best choice. Personal preferences, the number of diners, and desired toppings all play a role.

Real-World Comparisons for Better Understanding

To truly grasp the difference in size, let’s use some everyday comparisons:

  • Visual Aids: Think of a 14-inch pizza as a standard laptop screen, while a 16-inch pizza resembles a large laptop or a small desktop monitor. The difference might seem minimal, but in terms of screen (or pizza) real estate, it’s significant.
  • Volume Analogy: If pizzas were books, a 14-inch pizza would be a standard novel, while a 16-inch pizza would be an epic tome. The latter offers more content (or toppings and crust) to savor.

Making Informed Choices

Armed with all this knowledge, how should you approach your next pizza order?

  • Assess Your Needs: Are you ordering for a party, a family dinner, or just yourself? The number of diners and their appetites play a crucial role in the decision-making process.
  • Consider the Occasion: A casual movie night might warrant a different choice than a celebratory event. Special occasions might call for that extra size and topping variety.
  • Experiment: Don’t shy away from trying different sizes. Sometimes, personal experience is the best teacher. Order different sizes on different occasions and see which one feels just right.


Pizza, in all its cheesy glory, is more than just a dish; it’s an experience, a communal event, and often, a source of joy. While the difference between a 14-inch and a 16-inch pizza might seem mathematical on the surface, it delves deep into the realms of value, satisfaction, and culinary delight.

Understanding the nuances of pizza sizes ensures that every order is tailored to perfection, meeting both your appetite and your budget. So, the next time you’re faced with a pizza menu, remember the science, the practical implications, and the myths. But most importantly, listen to your heart (and your stomach) and choose the pizza that will bring the most joy to the moment.

Here’s to many more delightful pizza experiences, informed choices, and moments of shared happiness over a slice of heaven!


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