We introduce a single-number metric, quantum volume, that can be measured using a concrete protocol on near-term quantum computers of modest size (nâ‰50), and measure it on several state-of-the-art transmon devices, finding values as high as 16. The quantum volume is linked to system error rates, and is empirically reduced by uncontrolled interactions within the system. It quantifies the largest random circuit of equal width and depth that the computer successfully implements. Quantum computing systems with high-fidelity operations, high connectivity, large calibrated gate sets, and circuit rewriting toolchains are expected to have higher quantum volumes. The quantum volume is a pragmatic way to measure and compare progress toward improved system-wide gate error rates for near-term quantum computation and error-correction experiments.