SOLUTION: How do I solve this word problem? National Debt: In December of 2005, the U.S. national dept was approximately 8.1 x 10 with exponent of 12 dollars. At that time, the popul

Algebra ->  Exponents -> SOLUTION: How do I solve this word problem? National Debt: In December of 2005, the U.S. national dept was approximately 8.1 x 10 with exponent of 12 dollars. At that time, the popul      Log On

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 Question 94859: How do I solve this word problem? National Debt: In December of 2005, the U.S. national dept was approximately 8.1 x 10 with exponent of 12 dollars. At that time, the population of the U.S. was 2.98 x 10 with exponent of 8 people. In December of 2005, what was the U.S. debt per person?Answer by bucky(2189)   (Show Source): You can put this solution on YOUR website!Given: . In December of 2005 the US debt was dollars. . Also in December of 2005 the US population was people. . You are to find the dollars per person (\$/person) so you need to put the dollars in the numerator and the number of persons in the denominator to solve this. This becomes: . . You can split this into two parts ... the numbers part and the exponents part. When you do that the problem becomes: . . Now work the two parts. First divide the 8.1 by the 2.98 (calculator time) to get 2.7181200805 which we round off to 2.72. Next divide the by . Since both numbers involve the base 10, all we need to do to divide is to subtract the exponent in the denominator from the exponent in the numerator and apply that answer to the base 10. In other words, this division results in . Put these two answers together and we get that the dollars of debt per person in December 2005 was: . which equals approximately \$27,200 per person . Hope this helps you to understand how to work the problem. .