Great Britain and the United States are two of the few places in the world that use a period to indicate the decimal place. Different countries officially designate different symbols for the decimal mark. The choice of symbol for the decimal mark also affects the choice of symbol for the thousands separator used in digit grouping. While the U.K. and U.S. use a comma to separate groups of thousands, many other countries use a period instead, and some countries separate thousands groups with a thin space. When we manage values from different countries using several formats we need to use a standard in order to compute, compare or share results.

Number localization

Decimal mark

A decimal mark is a symbol used to separate the integer part from the fractional part of a number written in decimal form.

Digit grouping

This refers to the number of digits contained between each separator for all digit groups that appear to the left of the decimal separator. For example, the 3-digit group is used for most cultures, such as for English (United States): 123,456,789.00. However, notice that Hindi uses a 2-digit grouping, except for the 3-digit grouping for denoting hundreds: 12,34,56,789.00

Locale Country Format Decimal mark Digit grouping separator
en-us USA 4,294,295.00 . ,
fr-fr France 4 294 295,00 , space
pt-br Brazil 4.294.295,00 , .
en-in India 42,94,295.00 . ,

Standardize with javascript: toLocaleString()

The toLocaleString() method returns a string with a language sensitive representation of this number.

var number = 1000.90;

// German uses comma as decimal separator and period for thousands
console.log(number.toLocaleString('de-DE')); // → 1.000,90

Standardize with php: number_format()

number_format format a number with grouped thousands and separator for the decimal point. It’s not explicitly documented; number_format also rounds.

$num = "1,000.90";

echo number_format(str_replace(",","",$num), 2, '.', ''); // → 1000.90

If you convert an integer, without decimals, you can use intval()

$num = "1 000";

echo intval(preg_replace('/[^0-9]/', '', $num)) // -> 1000

Victor Dias

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