Area of Irregular Shapes
The area of irregular shapes means the space occupied by the shape which is measured in square units. An irregular shape can be of any size and length. Irregular shapes can be seen all around us, for example, a kite, a diamond shape, a leaf, etc. Any shape whose sides and angles are not of equal length is termed an irregular shape.
1.  What is the Area of Irregular Shapes? 
2.  How to Find the Area of Irregular Shapes? 
3.  Formula for Finding the Area of Irregular Shapes 
4.  FAQs on Area of Irregular Shapes 
What is the Area of Irregular Shapes?
The area of irregular shapes is the amount of region covered by that shape. Irregular shapes are those shapes that do not have equal sides or equal angles. In order to find the area of an irregular shape, it can be decomposed or divided into multiple familiar shapes and then the area of those can be added to get the total area. We can see different examples of irregular shapes in our everyday life:
 Observe the staircase of a building. The surface area of the staircase is an irregular shape composed of polygons like rectangles and squares.
 A playground in a school with a running track is an irregular shape and is also a combination of regular shapes.
 The leaf of a plant is an irregular shape.
The unit of area of an irregular shape is expressed in terms of m^{2}, cm^{2}, in^{2}, or ft^{2}.
How to Find the Area of Irregular Shapes?
In order to find the area of irregular shapes, we must know how to decompose an irregular shape into familiar shapes.
Decompose the Irregular Shape
The following shape is an irregular figure whose area cannot be calculated by a specific formula. If we decompose it, we can see that it can be split into polygons P, Q, R, S, T, and U. In other words, these polygons join together to form the irregular shape. So, after decomposing, we find the area of these polygons and add the values to get the area of the given irregular shape.
Let us take another example. The given figure can be split into multiple polygons A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Since we recognize these shapes, we can easily find the area of these and add them to get the area of the given irregular shape.
Formula for Finding the Area of Irregular Shapes
There is no direct formula to calculate the area of an irregular shape. We use different methods to find the area in such cases.
Method 1: As we discussed earlier, to find the area of irregular shapes, we can divide the irregular shape into familiar polygons and then find the area of each individual polygon.
Therefore, the area of the given irregular shape = Area of all the polygons that form the irregular shape.
⇒ Area of the given irregular shape = area of A + area of B + area of C + area of D + area of E + area of F + area of G
Method 2: In some cases, the irregular shape is divided into small unit squares or grids. The total number of unit squares falling within the shape determines the total area. It should be noted that while calculating the area for a more accurate estimate we count the square as “1” if the shaded region covers more than half of each square. So, in this case we get an approximate area of the irregular shape. We can use this method for shapes which have curves like the one shown in the following figure.
Therefore, the area of the given irregular shape = Sum of all the unit squares falling under the irregular shape.
Solved Examples on Area of Irregular Shapes

Example 1:
Find the area of the given irregular shape.
Solution:
To find the area of the irregular shape, we will add up the area of the shapes that come together to form this irregular shape:
Let us find the area of each shape first.
 Area of rectangle 'P' = Length × Width = 6 × 8 = 48 square units
 Area of semicircle 'Q' = πr^{2}/2 = (3.14 × 5^{2})/2 (taking π = 3.14 and the diameter of the semicircle as 10 after using the pythagoras theorem in figure R)
⇒ Area of semicircle 'Q' = (3.14 × 5^{2})/2 = 39.25 square units  Area of the triangle 'R' = 1/2 × Base × Height
⇒ Area of the triangle 'R' = 1/2 × 8 × 6 = 24 square units  Area of rectangle 'S' = Length × Breadth = 6 × 8 = 48 square units
Now, let us find the area of the irregular shape using the area of the regular shapes:
Area of the given irregular shape = Area of the rectangle 'P' + Area of the semicircle 'Q' + Area of the triangle 'R' + Area of the rectangle 'S'.
⇒ Area of the given irregular shape = 48 + 39.25 + 24 + 48 = 159.25 square units.Therefore, the area of the given irregular shape is 159.25 square units.

Example 2: Find the area of a shape formed by joining three rectangles A, B, and C. The length and width of rectangle A are 2 units and 10 units respectively, the length and width of rectangle B are 3 units and 2 units respectively, and the length and width of rectangle C are 5 units and 2 units respectively.
Solution: The shape is formed by three rectangles, A, B, and C. Therefore, the area of the given shape is given as:
Area of the shape = Area of rectangle A + Area of rectangle B + Area of rectangle C⇒ Area of the shape = (2 × 10) + (3 × 2) + (5 × 2)
⇒ Area of the shape = 20 + 6 + 10 = 36 units^{2}.
Thus, the area of the shape is 36 units^{2}.
FAQs on Area of Irregular Shapes
What is the Area of Irregular Shapes?
The area of irregular shapes is defined as the amount of space that is covered by an irregular shape. Irregular shapes are those shapes that do not have equal sides or equal angles. The unit for the area of an irregular shape is expressed in terms of square units, for example, m^{2}, cm^{2}, in^{2}, or feet^{2}.
How is Area of Irregular Shapes Different From Regular Shapes?
A regular shape has equal sides and angles, whereas, an irregular shape can be of any size and length. Thus, the area of regular shapes can be determined by directly applying suitable formulas for it whereas the area of an irregular shape can be found by decomposing an irregular shape into several regular shapes.
Is there a Formula to Find the Area of Irregular Shapes?
There is no specific formula to find the area of an irregular shape since an irregular shape has all sides of different lengths. Sometimes, an irregular shape is made up of a combination of polygons, thus, the formula is determined by decomposing an irregular shape into regular shapes.
What is the Method to Find the Area of Irregular Shapes?
We can find the area of irregular shapes using the following steps:
 Step 1: Decompose an irregular shape into familiar polygons.
 Step 2: Find the sum of all the areas of the known polygons to find the area of the irregular shape.
How Can We Find the Area of Irregular Shapes Using the Unit Square Method?
We can find the area of irregular shapes using the unit square method with the following steps:
 Step 1: Divide the given irregular shape into small squares of the unit square area.
 Step 2: The total number of unit squares falling within the shape determines the total area.
 Step 3: While calculating the area for a more accurate estimate count the square as “1” if the shaded region covers more than half of each square.
Is the Unit Square Method an Accurate Way to Find the Area of Irregular Shapes?
No, while measuring the area of an irregular shape if we use the unit square method, we get an approximate value of the area instead of the accurate value.
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