# Why does wire gauge go down as the physical wire size goes up?

I've always just accepted this but why is it that wire gauge goes down as wire size increases? Why not the other way which would make a bit more logical sense?

i.e. Why isn't it that 40 AWG = big wire, 0000 AWG = small wire.

• There is plenty of information on the topic out there. Here is one of first results: falconerelectronics.com/wire-gauge Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 19:03
• "This question does not show any research effort"
– pipe
Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 19:38
• @C.Lange Today the minimum research effort usually means "google it and check the first link". When that doesn't help, you can ask here and show what exactly it is you don't understand from that answer. No need to make Stack Exchange into a copy of Wikipedia.
– pipe
Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 21:36
• @pipe Gotcha. I thought the idea was to create a repository of Q&A questions. This was a question that had not been asked here so I thought it appropriate to add. Perhaps I've misunderstood the purpose of this site then. I'll keep that in mind -- thanks for the information!
– user199402
Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 21:58
• It's easy, @Neil. The diameter is given by $D_{AWG}=0.005 \cdot 92^{\frac{36-AWG}{39} \ \text {inch}$. Can't you do it in your head? Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 15:14