Financial Literacy Around the World: Insights from the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey

Financial Literacy Around the World: Insights from the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey


The survey’s goal is to provide the most accurate measure of financial literacy around the world. It also aims to provide information to policy makers, regulators, the private sector, and academics to empower them to develop effective financial education policies and programs.

Financial illiteracy is a critical barrier to financial inclusion. Because of a lack of knowledge about finance and financial products, many people are unable to access banking and financial services, and are therefore kept out of financial markets. Financial literacy is therefore highly important to people’s financial well-being and to the overall health of a country’s economy. The survey is based on interviews with more than 150,000 adults in over 140 countries. In 2014 McGraw Hill Financial worked with Gallup, Inc., the World Bank Development Research Group, and GFLEC on the S&P Global FinLit Survey. We believe there are correlations between financial literacy, financial access and the strength of markets. Addressing financial literacy is a key strategy in building stronger, more accessible and sustainable markets around the world.

Key aspects

Low levels of financial literacy around the world

Numeracy and inflation are the most understood concepts. Risk diversification is the least understood concept

Women’s financial literacy levels are lower than men’s. The young are a vulnerable group and an important target for financial education programs

Full content of the publication


Financial literacy Inflation Interest compounding Measurement of financial literacy Numeracy Risk diversification


Peter van Oudheusden

World Bank Development Research Group

Annamaria Lusardi

Academic Director, Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC)

Leora Klapper

Lead Economist, Development Research Group World Bank

Additional Information

Date published


Document Type

Survey and Report




Academics, regulators, policymakers and business associations



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