Question
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
Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment No Comment

Volunteer

#### randy patton

##### Expertise

college mathematics, applied math, advanced calculus, complex analysis, linear and abstract algebra, probability theory, signal processing, undergraduate physics, physical oceanography

##### Experience

26 years as a professional scientist conducting academic quality research on mostly classified projects involving math/physics modeling and simulation, data analysis and signal processing, instrument development; often ocean related

Publications
J. Physical Oceanography, 1984 "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics", with M. Cane

Education/Credentials
M.S. MIT Physical Oceanography, B.S. UC Berkeley Applied Math

Past/Present Clients
Also an Expert in Oceanography