2015: The Last Binary Palindrome Year We’ll Have Until 2047

Arika Okrent
istock / istock

2015 is the last binary palindrome year we’ll have until 2047, so enjoy it!

Last year was so 11111011110. That’s 2014 in binary, and it looks, well, a little unbalanced. This year though? Behold the beauty of 2015:


How symmetrical! How elegant! It reads the same way forwards and backwards! It’s a palindrome!

If you need a refresher on how binary numbers work, each digit represents a power of 2. With 11 digits (the number of “bits” needed to represent numbers above 1024) the numbers for each place are as follows:

Add them all together (except for the 32 in the center, which is set to 0) and you get 2015. There will not be another year this symmetrical until 2047, when we hit 11111111111 (which is nice, but a little boring with all that repetition). After that, we go to 12 bits (100000000000, or 2048), hit another symmetrical year in 2049 (100000000001), and then have to wait another 96 years for the next one (100001100001, or 2145).

So live it up. Enjoy the harmony, the balance, and the forward/reverse/any-which-way of it all. Here’s to 11111011111. May life’s joys be ones and life’s troubles be zeros for you and yours.