|Britons should improve their understanding of mathematics in order to boost the economy and stimulate growth, and stimulate growth.|
A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) has found that a country’s general competence in the subject is a major component in its economic success.
The level of mathematical knowledge among the general population was found to have a direct relation to Gross Domestic Product.
Prof Brian Butterworth, an Emeritus professor from the Centre of Educational Neuroscience at UCL, said that if the least able section of the population brushed up on their maths they would contribute significantly to the British economy.
He said: “It’s not just raising the overall level that helps.
“If you just get the lowest 10 or 11 per cent – the percentage of our population that fails to reach the OECD minimum standard at 15 – to the minimum level this will increase GDP growth by 0.44 per cent per annum.
“It might not sound like much but actually over the years this creates an enormous improvement in GDP for the country.”
He told BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “The UK is not very good at maths. We are about average looking at all OECD countries. So, we are significantly worse than Canada and Australia and much worse than China and Japan although we are a bit better than Germany and significantly better than the United States.”
“We know from a recent OECD report that maths ability in the population is correlated with GDP growth. So the better at maths the country is the better their GDP growth.”
Prof Butterworth said that maths is particularly important in terms of GDP but that science also had an impact.