Quantitative literacy or numeracy refers to the arithmetic knowledge and skills that are required by individuals to function effectively at work and in society. This entry discusses the concept and measurement of quantitative literacy, the results of surveys examining the quantitative literacy skills of adults in various countries, and the links between quantitative literacy and social and economic outcomes.
Historically, the concept of literacy included only basic skills connected to reading and writing. Over the years, however, it has expanded to include other skills. In 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization adopted its definition of literacy, still used today, which incorporates quantitative literacy or numeracy, stating:
A person is functionally literate who can engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for ...
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