Composite Numbers – Definition with Examples
8 minutes read
Created: January 9, 2024
Last updated: January 9, 2024
Welcome to Brighterly, where we make math engaging, exciting, and accessible for children! Today, we’re going to dive into the fascinating world of composite numbers. These intriguing numbers play an essential role in understanding number theory, factors, and multiples. As we explore composite numbers together, we’ll help young learners build a strong foundation in mathematics and develop problemsolving skills.
What are Composite Numbers?
Composite numbers are natural numbers (positive integers) that have more than two factors. Unlike prime numbers, which have exactly two factors (1 and the number itself), composite numbers can be divided evenly by at least one other number apart from 1 and itself. In other words, composite numbers can be expressed as the product of two or more smaller natural numbers. They are an essential part of the study of number theory and understanding the properties of integers.
Children often come across composite numbers while learning about factors and multiples in school. Understanding composite numbers helps build a strong foundation in arithmetic and problemsolving skills.
How to Find Composite Numbers?
To determine if a number is a composite number, follow these simple steps:
 Begin by checking if the number is greater than 1. If it is 1 or smaller, it is not a composite number.
 Test the number by dividing it by the numbers smaller than itself (excluding 1). If it can be divided evenly by any of these numbers, it is a composite number. Otherwise, it is a prime number.
For example, let’s check if the number 12 is a composite number:
 12 is greater than 1.
 12 can be divided evenly by 2, 3, 4, and 6 (12 ÷ 2 = 6, 12 ÷ 3 = 4, 12 ÷ 4 = 3, 12 ÷ 6 = 2).
Since 12 meets both conditions, it is a composite number.
Properties of Composite Numbers
Composite numbers have several unique properties that make them stand out from prime numbers. These properties include:
 Divisibility: Composite numbers can be divided evenly by at least one other natural number apart from 1 and themselves.
 Factor pairs: Every composite number has at least one pair of factors, which are smaller natural numbers that multiply together to give the composite number.
 Multiplicity: The prime factorization of a composite number will have at least one prime factor with a multiplicity of 2 or higher. Multiplicity refers to the number of times a factor appears in the prime factorization.
 Evenness: Except for the number 2 (which is a prime number), all even numbers are composite numbers since they can be divided evenly by 2.
Types of Composite Numbers
There are several types of composite numbers based on their factors and other properties. Some common types include:
 Even composite numbers: These are composite numbers that are also even, meaning they can be divided evenly by 2. Examples: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12.
 Odd composite numbers: These are composite numbers that are also odd, meaning they cannot be divided evenly by 2. Examples: 9, 15, 21, 25, 27.
 Square composite numbers: These are composite numbers that can be expressed as the square of a natural number. Examples: 4 (2²), 9 (3²), 16 (4²), 25 (5²).
 Cubed composite numbers: These are composite numbers that can be expressed as the cube of a natural number. Examples: 8 (2³), 27 (3³), 64 (4³), 125 (5³).
Smallest Composite Number
At Brighterly, we encourage curiosity and exploration, especially when it comes to discovering fascinating mathematical concepts. Let’s uncover the mystery of the smallest composite number! The smallest composite number is 4, which is the smallest natural number greater than 1 that has more than two factors. In the case of 4, its factors are 1, 2, and 4. Since it meets the definition of a composite number, it is considered the smallest composite number. This discovery opens the door to understanding the larger world of composite numbers and their properties.
Difference Between Prime and Composite Numbers
At Brighterly, we believe in making math enjoyable and accessible to young learners. To better grasp the concept of composite numbers, it’s essential to understand their counterparts – prime numbers. The primary difference between prime and composite numbers lies in the number of factors they have:
 Prime numbers have exactly two factors: 1 and the number itself.
 Composite numbers have more than two factors, including 1, the number itself, and at least one other number.
For example, 7 is a prime number because its only factors are 1 and 7. In contrast, 8 is a composite number because its factors are 1, 2, 4, and 8. By understanding the differences between prime and composite numbers, children can develop a solid foundation in number theory and strengthen their problemsolving skills.
As we continue our journey through the fascinating world of composite numbers, remember that Brighterly is here to guide, inspire, and support children in their quest for mathematical knowledge. We’re committed to creating a fun, engaging, and educational environment for young learners to thrive in. So, let’s keep exploring and uncovering the wonders of math together!
Prime Factorization of Composite Numbers
At Brighterly, we believe that unlocking the secrets of math can be a thrilling adventure for children. One exciting journey to embark on is understanding the prime factorization of composite numbers. Prime factorization is the process of expressing a composite number as the product of its prime factors. This can be done using various methods, such as factor trees, repeated division, or using a prime factorization tool.
For example, the prime factorization of 60 can be represented as 2 × 2 × 3 × 5, or 2² × 3 × 5. By breaking down composite numbers into their prime factors, children can further develop their mathematical intuition and problemsolving skills.
Solved Examples on Composite Numbers
To help young learners better understand composite numbers, let’s dive into some solved examples, brought to you by Brighterly:

Determine if 18 is a composite number:
18 can be divided evenly by 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 18. Since it has more than two factors, 18 is a composite number.

Find the prime factorization of 24:
Using a factor tree or repeated division, we find that 24 can be expressed as 2 × 2 × 2 × 3, or 2³ × 3.
Practice Problems on Composite Numbers
Are you ready to put your composite number skills to the test? Brighterly presents some fun practice problems for young learners:
 Determine if the following numbers are composite: 20, 23, 35, 41, 44.
 Find the prime factorization of 72.
 Which of the following numbers are even composite numbers: 10, 14, 17, 22, 29?
Remember, Brighterly is here to support and inspire young minds in their quest for mathematical knowledge. We’re committed to making math enjoyable and accessible to children, ensuring they have a strong foundation for future success. So, let’s keep exploring the captivating world of composite numbers together!
Conclusion
At Brighterly, we believe that math is an adventure waiting to be explored by young learners. Composite numbers are a vital concept in number theory and arithmetic, and understanding their properties and differences from prime numbers is crucial in building a strong mathematical foundation.
By grasping the concept of composite numbers, children can further develop their problemsolving skills, mathematical intuition, and critical thinking abilities. They can also expand their understanding of factors and multiples, which are crucial concepts in many branches of mathematics.
Frequently Asked Questions on Composite Numbers
Is 1 a composite number?
No, 1 is neither a prime nor a composite number because it has only one factor, which is itself.
Can a composite number be a multiple of a prime number?
Yes, a composite number can be a multiple of a prime number. For example, 15 is a composite number and a multiple of the prime number 3 (15 = 3 × 5).
What is the smallest odd composite number?
The smallest odd composite number is 9, as its factors are 1, 3, and 9.
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