Numeracy, also known as numerical or quantitative literacy, refers to an ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts. The word was first introduced in 1959 by the UK Committee on Education, presided over by Sir Geoffrey Crowther. Innumeracy is a lack of numeracy.

Definitions and Prevalence

In 2000, the Department of Health and Human Services defined health literacy as the skills needed to “obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services for approximate health decisions.” The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), as part of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), collects, analyzes, and publishes statistics on education and public school district finance information in the United States. The NCES in its Adult Health Literacy Survey in 1993 defines numeracy ...

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