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The 1980 census showed a U.S. population of about 226,500,000 people. The national debt in 1980 was about 970 billion dollars. If the debt had been divided equally among the entire population, what, to the nearest dollar, would each person need to contribute to pay off the debt?

This pretty easy to calculate. How do you think you can get the answer? The clue is in your 3rd sentence. The quantity you want to calculate is the dollars per person, or dollars/person = $/p = $970 billion/226.5 million persons. Since there is a thousand millions per billion we would get 970 milion-thousand/226.5 million = (970 thousand)/(226.5) = (970/226.5)1000 = 4,283.

Randy

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