🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now
Makin' Money

How good are your numeracy skills?

Chau Tu Nov 15, 2010

On this past weekend’s Marketplace Money show, reporter Janet Babin took a deeper look at the results of a new study from the Rand Corporation. The study asked couples three simple math questions, and those couples who answered all of them correctly averaged $1.7 million of family wealth. Couples who got all the questions wrong averaged only $200,000. The study concluded that at least one person in a couple should have great math skills to better handle family finances.

Think you got the financing chops? The Rand Corporation sent us the questions they used:

(1) If the chance of getting a disease is 10 percent, how many people out of 1,000 would be expected to get the disease?

(2) If 5 people all have the winning numbers in the lottery and the prize is $2 million, how much will each of them get?

(3) Let’s say you have $200 in a savings account. The account earns 10 percent interest per year. How much would you have in the account at the end of two years?

Answers after the jump.

1) 100 people. 2) $400,000. 3) $242.

How well did you do?

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.