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Types of Solutions

In mathematics, there are two types of solutions: exact and approximate solutions. We always try to find an exact solution, whenever possible. However, in some cases like a census, it is too difficult, time consuming, or expensive to find the exact solution. In these cases, an approximate solution is more preferable than an exact one.

 
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Example:

During the last census, it was determined that the population of the two islands of Maldives was 563,798 and 942,734. What is the total population?

Since the last census determining these population numbers, some children have been born, and some people have died. Does adding these numbers together give an exact population? No! These numbers may never have been exact in the first place. Some people may have been away, such as on vacation, and weren't counted. Then considering births and deaths, these numbers are definitely not accurate. In this situation, it is probably adequate to calculate an approximate answer.

Solution:

We would round 563,798 to 600,000, and 942,734 to 900,000 (rounding to ten thousands).

The total population would be 600,000 + 900,000 = 1,500,000

 
 
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