Revealed: First ever detailed map of UK numeracy skills

93% of Local Authorities contain at least one ward with below average numeracy skills

UK, 12 July 2022: The areas where efforts to ‘level up’ numeracy skills would have the most benefit have been revealed, thanks to partnership between charity National Numeracy and Experian.

The new UK Numeracy Index predicts average numeracy skills and confidence in 379 local authority areas and 8,870 wards, providing a unique insight into the country’s numeracy capabilities.

By using this data, policymakers, organisations and communities can begin to better understand the issues in their localities and take action to boost numeracy skills for those who need it most.

With half the working-age population of the UK having the expected numeracy level of a primary school child, improving numeracy can boost social mobility and help the millions of people who are currently financially excluded.

Local authority areas identified as having the greatest need for support to boost low numeracy levels were Merthyr Tydfil, Kingston Upon Hull and Blaenau Gwent, while regionally the North East was found to have the greatest need for support.

However, low numeracy is an issue across the whole country. The vast majority of local authorities (93%) contain at least one ward with below-average numeracy skills, indicating the widespread nature of the problem.

Sam Sims, CEO, National Numeracy, said: ““Numeracy levels in the UK are significantly below the average for developed countries with nearly half the working-age population having the expected numeracy level of a primary school child. Low numeracy disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities and holds millions of people back.

“The UK Numeracy Index offers new insight and fresh data to help us tackle the UK’s numeracy problem. This unique model will allow us, and others that use it, to better target support where it is most needed, where the impact of improved numeracy will have greater impact on lives and livelihoods.”

Colin Grieves, Head of Marketing Services, Experian UK&I, said: By using our analytics expertise, Experian was able to map numeracy levels across the UK, revealing the issue isn’t just confined to certain areas but one which impacts all communities.

“Only by truly understanding a problem – and where those challenges are likely to be most severe – can we find the right solutions. Data insights are the foundation to that understanding.

“Poor numeracy has an enormous impact on people’s everyday lives, and we hope the Numeracy Index will help support the crucial work of National Numeracy, and inspire debate about how we can best solve the UK’s maths problem.”

The UK Numeracy Index is available via the National Numeracy website. It will also be made available to government, local authorities, charities and organisations across the country, so they can begin to tackle the issue in their area.

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About the National Numeracy Index

The Numeracy Index predicts average numeracy skills and confidence in a geographic area. It ranks areas in order of greatest need via an interactive map of the UK, which shows how regions, 379 local authorities and 8,879 wards compare to each other.

Analysis conducted by combining Experian and National Numeracy knowledge and datasets.

Explore the Index: www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/what-numeracy/numeracy-index

 Media contact:

Robert Goodman, PR Manager, Corporate & Business, UK&I, Experian

Tel: +44 7989 398 498 / Email: Robert.Goodman@Experian.com

About National Numeracy

National Numeracy is a charity dedicated to helping people feel confident with numbers and using everyday maths. Our mission is to empower children and adults in the UK to get on with numbers so they can fulfil their potential at work, home and school. Our work improves how people understand and work with numbers in everyday life, sparking better opportunities and brighter futures.  Find out more: www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk

 About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 20,600 people operating across 43 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people, and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.