Assessing the levels of financial literacy in the population is a key component of a successful national strategy for financial education, enabling policy makers to identify gaps and design appropriate responses. International comparisons increase the value of such an assessment by enabling countries to benchmark themselves with other countries. Where similar patterns are identified across countries, national authorities can work together to find common methods for improving financial literacy within their respective populations.
Addressing a call by G20 Leaders to develop practical tools for financial literacy measurement, the OECD/INFE has conducted an international data collection exercise for measuring financial literacy and financial inclusion. A total of 51,650 adults aged 18 to 79 from 30 countries and economies participated in the survey.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has tested 15 year-olds on their knowledge of personal finances and ability to apply it to their financial problems. This is the first large-scale international study to assess the financial literacy of young people. The results of this assessment were released in July 2014.
This paper presents the results of an OECD/INFE pilot survey on variations in financial knowledge, behaviour and attitude across 14 countries on 4 continents. It also explores differences in levels of financial literacy by socio-demographics within each of the countries.
The results highlight a lack of financial knowledge amongst a sizeable proportion of the population in each of the countries surveyed. Furthermore, there is considerable room for improvement in terms of financial behaviour. Attitudes are shown to vary widely.
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Ms. Flore-Anne Messy