Difference Between Arithmetic and Mathematics

Arithmetic vs Mathematics | Math vs Arithmetic

Many people think that the words ‘arithmetic’ and ‘mathematics’ mean the same. What is mathematics? Mathematics is a difficult term to define as it covers many areas. Mathematics can be defined as the study of measurements and properties of quantities using numbers and symbols. Mathematics also includes proofs of theorems, other than the numbers and symbols. Arithmetic is a branch of mathematics that deals with properties of numbers.


Arithmetic is the oldest, most basic and fundamental category in mathematics, that involves basic calculations with numbers. The four elementary operations in arithmetic are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Therefore, arithmetic can also be defined as the mathematics of numbers (real numbers, integers, fractions, decimals and complex numbers) under the operation of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The order of operation is given by BODMAS rule (or PEMDAS rule).

For many years, arithmetic has been a part of human life. For example, they use it in their day today life activities such as counting, purchasing and preparing their accounts and budgets. It is often used in some higher level scientific or mathematical calculation as well.


Mathematics is a very broad field, which is used as an essential tool in many fields. It is not specific. There are two main branches of mathematics; applied mathematics and pure mathematics. Also, it can be categorized as arithmetic, algebra, calculus, geometry and trigonometry.

What is the difference between Arithmetic and Mathematics?


• use numbers for calculation.

• deals with four basic operations; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Whereas, Mathematics:

• is the study of measurements and properties of quantities.

• use numbers, symbols and proofs for explanations