Youngsters good at maths aged 10 ‘earn more later in life’

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Children who are good at maths at age 10 earn more later in life, new research suggests.

It reveals that a pupil who scores highly in the subject is likely to earn around £2,100 extra a year by the time they are 30.

The study also reveals an earnings premium for youngsters who have good reading skills.

The research, published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), looked at the link between the reading and maths score of pupils born in April 1970 at the age of 10, and their earnings at the ages of 30, 34 and 38.

The findings show that a child who scored in the top 15 per cent of maths scores when they were 10 years old was likely to earn around 7.3 per cent more when they were 30 than a similar child who gained a middle ranking score in the subject.

This is equivalent to around £2,100 extra a year in their pay packets, the report suggests. It found that children who are good at reading also had higher salaries later in life – although the effect was smaller.

The study says that a 10-year-old who scored in the top 15 per cent for reading is likely to earn around 1.9 per cent more per year at age 30 than a similar pupil with a middle ranking scores. This is equivalent to earning an extra £550 a year.

Report author Claire Crawford, from the IFS, said the findings showed the importance of investing in maths skills early on. “Our research shows that maths skills developed during primary school continue to matter for earnings 20-30 years down the line.

“Moreover, they seem to matter more than reading skills, and over and above the qualifications that young people go on to obtain.”

The study, by the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions, was funded by the Department for Education.