Compare and Order Integers
Problem: A meteorologist recorded temperatures in four cities around the world. List these cities in order from least to greatest according to their temperatures.
Recorded Temperatures  
City  Temp 
Albany  ^{+}5° 
Anchorage  ^{–}6° 
Buffalo  ^{–}7° 
Juneau  ^{–}9° 
Reno  ^{+}12° 
Since the temperatures are given as integers, a number line will help us solve this problem. As you move to the right on the number line, integers get larger in value. As you move to the left on the number line, integers get smaller in value.
Solution: The cities in order from least to greatest according to their temperatures are listed below.
Recorded Temperatures From Least to Greatest 

City  Temp 
Juneau  ^{–}9° 
Buffalo  ^{–}7° 
Anchorage  ^{–}6° 
Albany  ^{+}5° 
Reno  ^{+}12° 
When comparing two integers, we use the symbols < and >. (Note: The symbol always points to the smaller number.)
1 < 5 means 1 is less than 5
^{–}7 < ^{–}5 means ^{–}7 is less than ^{–}5
^{+}9 > ^{–}6 means ^{+}9 is greater than ^{–}6
^{–}2 > ^{–}4 means ^{–}2 is greater than ^{–}4
Example 1: Compare each of the following pairs of integers using the symbols < or >
Integers  Comparison  Explanation 
^{–}3, ^{+}4  ^{–}3 < ^{+}4  ^{–}3 is farther to the left on the number line than ^{+}4 
^{–}1, ^{–}3  ^{–}1 > ^{–}3  ^{–}1 is farther to the right on the number line than ^{–}3 
^{+}7, ^{–}2  ^{+}7 > ^{–}2  ^{+}7 is farther to the right on the number line than ^{–}2 
^{–}9, 0  ^{–}9 < 0  ^{–}9 is farther to the left on the number line than 0 
^{+}8, ^{+}1  ^{+}8 > ^{+}1  ^{+}8 is farther to the right on the number line than ^{+}1 
Example 2: Write these integers in order from least to greatest:
^{–}9, ^{+}3, ^{–}23, ^{+}6, ^{–}7
Solution:
^{–}23, ^{–}9, ^{–}7, ^{+}3, ^{+}6
Example 3: Write these integers in order from least to greatest:
^{–}28, ^{+}33, ^{–}35, ^{+}31, ^{–}37
Solution:
^{–}37, ^{–}35, ^{–}28, ^{+}31, ^{+}33
Example 4: Write these integers in order from greatest to least:
^{+}8, ^{–}13, ^{–}19, 0, ^{+}11, ^{–}15
Solution:
^{+}11, ^{+}8, 0, ^{–}13, ^{–}15, ^{–}19
Summary: Integers get smaller in value as you move to the left on the number line, and larger as you move to the right on the number line. We can use the symbols < and > to compare two integers, where the symbol always points to the smaller number. When comparing integers, it is helpful to draw a number line.
Exercises
Directions: Read each question below. Click once in an ANSWER BOX and type in your answer; then click ENTER. After you click ENTER, a message will appear in the RESULTS BOX to indicate whether your answer is correct or incorrect. To start over, click CLEAR.
1.  Compare these integers and enter < or > in the space provided. 
2.  Compare these integers and enter < or > in the space provided. 
3.  Which of the following choices lists these integers in order from least to greatest? ^{–}15, 0, ^{+}14, ^{–}17, ^{+}16, ^{–}19 
4.  Which of the following sets of integers is listed in order from least to greatest? 
5.  Which of the following sets of integers is listed in order from greatest to least? 