Big Number Brainwork: How to Solve Word Problems with Large Whole Number Operations

Real-world scenarios often involve large numbers, especially when dealing with populations, budgets, or vast quantities. Let's explore how to tackle word problems that require adding and subtracting whole numbers, even those in the billions.

Big Number Brainwork: How to Solve Word Problems with Large Whole Number Operations

Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers in Word Problems

Example 1:

The population of Country A in 2020 was \(3,456,789,012\). By 2025, it increased by \(1,234,567,890\). What was the population in 2025?

Solution Process:

Add the population increase to the 2020 population.


+ 1,234,567,890




The population in 2025 was \(4,691,356,902\).

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Example 2:

The government had a budget of \(7,890,123,456\) dollars. They spent \(5,678,912,345\) dollars on infrastructure. How much of the budget remains?

Solution Process:

Subtract the amount spent from the total budget.


– 5,678,912,345




The remaining budget is \(2,211,211,111\) dollars.

Word problems involving large numbers can initially seem intimidating. However, by carefully extracting the relevant data and applying basic addition or subtraction, you can easily find the solution. Always remember to read the problem thoroughly, identify the operation needed, and align numbers correctly. With practice, you’ll become adept at solving these real-world challenges involving big numbers!

Practice Questions:

1. A company made sales of \(4,567,890,123\) dollars in 2020 and \(3,456,789,012\) dollars in 2021. What was the total sales for both years?

2. The world’s largest forest had \(6,789,012,345\) trees. Due to deforestation, \(1,234,567,890\) trees were cut down. How many trees remain?

3. A charity received donations of \(1,234,567,890\) dollars in the first year and \(9,876,543,210\) dollars in the second year. How much did they receive in total?

4. A city had a water reserve of \(5,678,901,234\) liters. Due to a drought, \(2,345,678,901\) liters evaporated. How much water remains in the reserve?

5. A tech company sold \(7,890,123,456\) devices in the first quarter and \(1,111,111,111\) devices in the second quarter. What was their total sales for both quarters?

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1. \(8,024,679,135\) dollars

2. \(5,554,444,455\) trees

3. \(11,111,111,100\) dollars

4. \(3,333,222,333\) liters

5. \(9,001,234,567\) devices

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