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Poor math skills affect future lives

A new report from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) concludes that poor understanding of arithmetic and other math skills among children can have a major effect on their future lives.

Conducted by the Swedish branch of EPSI Raitng, the study says that these skills can be difficult to pick up later in life, which can hurt people’s economic situation, and even their health.

The report stresses the need to improve education in mathematics in Swedish schools.

The study measured the numeracy and financial literacy among around 1300 Swedish adults, and found that these differed widely between demographic groups. In general, it says:

“Numeracy declines with increasing age, but the youngest respondents also perform poorly, suggesting a cohort effect that should be a cause for concern. Numeracy is positively correlated with education and with risk-taking.”

The report notes that numeracy is an important determinant of stock market participation and of financial literacy.

This study is part of FI's work on projects for personal financial information and education ("Financial literacy"), and was conducted to illustrate how Swedish households deal with various personal financial issues and to detect any obstacles and problems.

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