In 2019, the population of the
United States of America was 329,991,000. That of Brazil was 210,511,000. And that of Indonesia was
268,074,600. Order the three populations from
least to greatest.
Any country’s population or the
number of people that live there is often a large number. And here we have three countries
that have a nine-digit number that shows their population. We’re given the population of the
United States, that of Brazil, and also Indonesia. And we’re asked to order these
three populations from least to greatest.
Now we could try to compare these
three numbers by looking across at them as they’re written at the moment in part of
a sentence. But when we’re comparing large
numbers with lots of digits, it often helps to write them out vertically, in other
words one number on top of another. This way, we can compare the value
of each digit one by one.
Now a nine-digit number is written
in three groups of three digits, with a comma separating them. Going from right to left, we have
our ones, tens, and hundreds digits. And we can call this group of three
the ones. Our next group of three digits we
could call our thousands digits. If we keep going from right to
left, we have our thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands places. And in between our thousands and
ones groups, we have a comma to separate them. This helps us to read the number
Our final group of three digits is
our millions group. And the three-digit places are
worth millions, ten millions, and hundred millions. And again, there’s a comma between
our millions and thousands groups to help us read the number.
Now we’ve drawn the place value
grid. We can write out each
population. In 2019, the population of the
United States of America was 329,991,000. We’re told that Brazil’s population
was 210,511,000. And finally, the population of
Indonesia was 268,074,600.
Now that we’ve set out these large
numbers vertically and we’ve got the place value grid to help us, we can compare
them quickly. A lot more quickly than looking
around from one number to another in a sentence. So should we start by looking at
the ones place and then the tens? No. If we start with the ones place,
we’re starting with a digit that has least value. Whether any of these populations
have nine ones or eight ones or even one one, it doesn’t matter.
To begin with, we need to be
comparing the digits that have the greatest value. These are the ones that are most
important in our numbers. And the digits with the greatest
value are our hundred millions digits. If we spend a moment to look at
these, we can see that two of our populations contain the digit two in the hundred
millions place. One of them contains the digit
three. So although we might not know at
this point which population is the least, we can certainly say which one is the
greatest of our three populations. It’s the United States. It has the greatest digit in the
place with the greatest value.
We need to write our three numbers
in order from least to greatest, so we know which the third number in our list is
going to be. It’s going to be the population of
the United States, which is 329,991,000.
We now need to put the other two
populations in order. Will they come first or second in
our list? We can’t separate these two numbers
by looking at the hundred millions digits. So now we have to look at the digit
with the next largest value. This is the ten millions place. One of our numbers has 10 millions
with a one in this place, and the other has 60 millions, with a six in the ten
millions place. One is less than six. So we can say that the first number
and the least out of our three numbers is the population of Brazil. This means then that the second
number in our list must be the population of Indonesia.
We compared these three nine-digit
numbers by using a place value grid to help. We put them in order from least to
greatest by looking at the digits that had the greatest value first. In order then from least to
greatest, the populations are Brazil then Indonesia then the United States of
America. And these numbers are 210,511,000,
268,074,600, and 329,991,000.