National Numeracy Day

National Numeracy Day is a holiday celebrated on the third Wednesday in May and is celebrated all across the United Kingdom. This day is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness about the importance of numeracy in their daily lives and instilling in people an innate confidence in regularly dealing with numbers.

It addresses the problem of not only people not having the math skills they require for their day-to-day life but also the fact that many people actively fear numeracy. However, this day is out to change those perceptions and help everyone become better at dealing with numbers.

The History of National Numeracy Day

In 2012, National Numeracy was founded as an independent charity in England and Wales and was based in Brighton, United Kingdom. The purpose of the charity was to challenge the negative attitudes toward numeracy and give people the tools they need to improve their math skills.

On May 16th, 2018, the first National Numeracy Day was celebrated in the United Kingdom as the government’s approach to increasing the number of people who are comfortable and confident with numbers. That first year, over 25,000 people participated in the events, and National Numeracy continued its work at helping educate the public about numeracy.

Some Cool Facts About Math

In an effort to help everyone better observe National Numeracy Day, we thought we’d contribute to the conversation by listing some cool facts about math that people might not know. We uncovered the following facts after researching this holiday, and we thought our readers might enjoy them, so let’s check them out.

  • Before the 16th century, most mathematical equations were written in words and not symbols.
  • Every odd number has an “e” in it.
  • Is there a Roman numeral for “zero?” No, there isn’t.
  • If every person on Earth shuffles one deck of cards each second, for the age of the universe, there’s only a one in a trillion, trillion chance of two decks matching.
  • If a room has 70 people in it, then there’s a 99.9% chance that two people will share the same birthday.
  • If a room only has 23 people in it, then there’s a 50-50 chance two people will have the same birthday.

Observing National Numeracy Day

During the course of this holiday, both adults and children alike are encouraged to take part in the festivities. How is this day normally celebrated?

Aside from formal events that place an emphasis on numeracy, people can use the day to learn more about mathematics, help someone learn something new about math, or even just spread the word about this holiday on social media using the hashtag #NationalNumeracyDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 15 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
May 21 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
May 17 Wednesday
Education & Reading