We are well into the 21st century now and the urgency for lifelong learning is growing especially regarding numeracy. There are major societal and policy pressures on education to prepare citizens for a complex and technologized society, in literature referred to as “21st
century skills” (Voogt & ParejaRoblin, 2012), “global competences” (OECD, 2016a) or “the 4th industrial revolution” (Schwab, 2016). International research has demonstrated the economic and social value of literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills (Hanushek and
Wöbmann, 2012; Grotlüschen, et al. 2016).
With respect to numeracy (and/or mathematics) education, we explore the implications of these pressures to the mathematical demands at individuals living and working in modern life, and what is expected from numeracy education as society moves further into the 21st century. New means of communication and types of services have changed the way individuals interact with governments, institutions, services and each other, and social and economic transformations have in turn, changed the nature of the demand for skills as well.