Helping young people understand financial issues is important, as younger generations are likely to face ever-increasingly complex financial products and services. They are also more likely to have to bear more financial risks in adulthood than their parents, especially in saving, planning for retirement and covering their healthcare needs.
In many countries, at around the age of 15 to 18, young people face one of their most important financial decisions: whether to invest in college or higher education. The gap in wages between college and non-college educated workers has widened in many economies. At the same time, the cost of a university education is rising in many countries. Figures published in March 2010 in the UK suggest that half of all UK students are expected to leave university owing around €18,000.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 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.
Countries covered - Sixty-five countries or regions took part in the PISA test on mathematics literacy. Students from 18 of these countries also tackled problems related to financial literacy: Australia, Belgium (Flemish Community), Shanghai-China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and United States.
Comparing levels of financial literacy across countries will make it possible to see which countries perform best and begin to identify effective national strategies and good practices.
|DOCUMENTS AND LINKS
For further information
Ms. Flore-Anne Messy