Cost of outcomes associated with low levels of adult numeracy in the UK (2014)

Low levels of numeracy could be costing the UK economy £20 billion per year.

Economists from the Audit Office, commissioned by National Numeracy and led by Pro Bono Economics (PBE), reveal the damaging impact that poor numeracy is having on the UK economy. They estimate the cost of outcomes associated with low levels of adult numeracy at around £20.2 billion per year, or about 1.3 per cent of the UK’s GDP.

The estimate comprises costs to individuals, employers and the government (see image below), but does not take into account costs to the health service or criminal justice system and may therefore underestimate the real cost of poor numeracy.

Cost of Outcomes Associated with Low Levels of Adult Numeracy in the UK. 2014. Pro Bono Economics.