Mathematical ignorance

Other Names:
Dependence on innumeracy
Developmental arithmetic disorder
Impairments of calculation
Difficulties learning mathematics
Inability to do maths

Even after receiving an education to an acceptable level of literacy, some people may continue to have great difficulty in understanding and manipulating numbers. In its extreme form, this revulsion against numbers has been termed number blindness. Acalculia, which is the inability to perform arithmetic operations, is seen most commonly with parietal lobe lesions.


There have been few estimates of the extent of this problem, but it has been widely accepted that numbers do not mean much to most people although this is generally not the case where monetary questions are at issue. Otherwise well educated people fall victim all to often to the extreme misinterpretation of statistics which makes "pseudoscience" - phrenology, parapsychology, predictive dreams, astrology and television evangelism - so influential in daily life.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST