# Parity of zero

## Quality of zero being an even number / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematics, zero is an even number. In other words, its parity—the quality of an integer being even or odd—is even. This can be easily verified based on the definition of "even": it is an integer multiple of 2, specifically 0 × 2. As a result, zero shares all the properties that characterize even numbers: for example, 0 is neighbored on both sides by odd numbers, any decimal integer has the same parity as its last digit—so, since 10 is even, 0 will be even, and if y is even then *y* + *x* has the same parity as x—indeed, 0 + *x* and *x* always have the same parity.

Zero also fits into the patterns formed by other even numbers. The parity rules of arithmetic, such as *even* − *even* = *even*, require 0 to be even. Zero is the additive identity element of the group of even integers, and it is the starting case from which other even natural numbers are recursively defined. Applications of this recursion from graph theory to computational geometry rely on zero being even. Not only is 0 divisible by 2, it is divisible by every power of 2, which is relevant to the binary numeral system used by computers. In this sense, 0 is the "most even" number of all.^{[1]}

Among the general public, the parity of zero can be a source of confusion. In reaction time experiments, most people are slower to identify 0 as even than 2, 4, 6, or 8. Some teachers—and some children in mathematics classes—think that zero is odd, or both even and odd, or neither. Researchers in mathematics education propose that these misconceptions can become learning opportunities. Studying equalities like 0 × 2 = 0 can address students' doubts about calling 0 a number and using it in arithmetic. Class discussions can lead students to appreciate the basic principles of mathematical reasoning, such as the importance of definitions. Evaluating the parity of this exceptional number is an early example of a pervasive theme in mathematics: the abstraction of a familiar concept to an unfamiliar setting.