Numeracy, Financial Literacy, and Financial Decision-Making

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Numeracy, Vol: 5, Issue: 1

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Lusardi, Annamaria
University of South Florida Libraries
quantitative literacy; financial literacy; numeracy; consumer; Education; Mathematics; Physical Sciences and Mathematics; Science and Mathematics Education
article description
Financial decisions, be they related to asset building or debt management, require the capacity to do calculations, including some complex ones. But how numerate are individuals, in particular when it comes to calculations related to financial decisions? Studies and surveys implemented in both the United States and in other countries that are described in this paper show the level of numeracy among the population to be very low. Moreover, lack of numeracy is not only widespread but is particularly severe among some demographic groups, such as women, the elderly, and those with low educational attainment. This has potential consequences for individuals and for society as a whole because numeracy is found to be linked to many financial decisions. As we shift responsibility from governments and employers onto individuals, it is increasingly important to find ways to equip people with the skills that are necessary to make savvy financial decisions.