# 2 Dealing with large numbers

It is important to be able to carry out calculations with numbers of any size. Large numbers can be written in different ways e.g.

1 200 000 (one million, two hundred thousand) or it can be written as 1.2 million.

Here is another example:

4 250 000 000 (four billion, two hundred and fifty million) is 4.25 billion.

It is often easier to deal with very large numbers when they are written as decimals.

Notice how the decimal is placed after the whole millions or billions.

*Hint**: A billion is a thousand million. *

Using a place value grid can help you to read large numbers as it groups the digits for you, making the whole number easier to read.

Notice how the numbers above are written in this place value grid.

## Table 1

Billion | Million | Thousand | |||||||

Billions | Hundreds of millions | Tens of millions | Millions | Hundreds of thousands | Tens of thousands | Thousands | Hundreds | Tens | Units |

1 |
2 |
0 |
0 |
0 |
0 |
0 | |||

4 |
2 |
5 |
0 |
0 |
0 |
0 |
0 |
0 |
0 |

Sometimes when dealing with large numbers it is sensible to round them, for example, the Office for National Statistics gives the number of people unemployed in the UK in February 2019 as 1.36 million. The number of people unemployed will not be exactly 1 360 000 but, by rounding the exact value and writing it as 1.36 million, it is easier to understand.

## Activity 6: Rounding large numbers

The following table gives the population of countries.

Round each population to the nearest million and write the figure in shortened form, using decimals where needed.

### Table 2(a)

Country | Population |

UK | 66 959 016 |

China | 1 420 062 022 |

### Answer

#### Table 2(b)

Country | Population | Population rounded | Shortened form |

UK | 66 959 016 | 67 000 000 | 67 million |

China | 1 420 062 022 | 1 420 000 000 | 1.42 billion |