Mathematics is responsible for 10% of the Spanish GDP, according to the first study that analyzes the mathematical intensity of the Spanish economy

  • In Spain, mathematics account for 6% of the employment, while in UK, France and the Netherlands this percentage lies between 10% and 11%
  • Taking into account the indirect impact caused by mathematics on other economic activities in Spain, numbers rise to 19.4% for employment and 26.9% on GDP
  • Spanish industry still employs a relative low number of high-intensity mathematics professionals, such as database, finance or software design specialists. These are the most productive and faster-growing jobs. Yet in Spain they will grow comparatively less than in UE-15: 0.47% yearly, vs. 0.59%  
  • If Spain had the same proportion of graduates in science and engineering as France, productivity would increase by 2.2%. 
  • The research has been performed by Afi (Analistas Financieros Internacionales) on behalf of the Red Estratégica en Matemáticas (REM), which involves the Spanish mathematical community.

Madrid, 10 Abril

The Red Estretégica en Matemáticas (REM) has presented a socio-economic impact study carried out by the consulting firm Asesores Financieros Internacionales (Afi), during an event held in Madrid. This study, the first of its kind measuring the “mathematical intensity” of the Spanish economy, concludes that mathematics is directly responsible for more than a million people employed – accounting for 6% of the total employment in Spain – and for over 10% of the Spanish GDP. In addition, professions focussed on mathematics are the ones that will grow the most in the coming years. Nonetheless, the study also warns that the Spanish business fabric feeds on less mathematics than the surrounding countries, and that, if this does not change, the Spanish economy will become less competitive.

Mathematics is a “strategic” asset that “accelerates economic growth,” says the new report, entitled Socio-economic impact of mathematical research and mathematical technology in Spain, which was presented at the presence of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and a broad representation of the company and the mathematical research community, including the director of the CRM and BGSMath Faculty member, Professor Lluís Alsedà.

The weight of mathematics in the Spanish economy has never been quantified before and, in fact, there is no standard methodology to do so. But the promoters of the report consider that it is essential, both for industry and for public decision-makers: “Mathematics is seen as something a few academics investigate away from everyday reality, but the truth is that they are increasingly becoming a national strategic resource “, said Tomás Chacón, from the Universidad de Sevilla and coordinator of REM, a knowledge network that integrates the entire Spanish mathematical community and seeks to promote the transfer of mathematical results to the business sector.

“Applying mathematics to all economic sectors is what is giving countries an advantage in the markets, and now, for the first time, we have the numbers to prove it,” added Chacón.

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