Global Financial Literacy Test Reveals “Average Scores” for U.S. Teens

July 16, 2014

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For More Information Contact:
Brandon Wright,
Director of Communications
brandon@ncbankers.org

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RALEIGH, N.C. – According to a recent report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stated U.S. teenagers scored just below the average for developed countries in a major financial literacy test. American 15-year-olds scored an average of 492 for financial literacy on the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment test, eight points below the average of 500. 

More than one in six U.S. students did not reach the baseline level of financial literacy proficiency, the report found, while just under 10 percent scored as “top performers.” Students with bank accounts performed better. Bank accounts were more common among students with better overall economic standing. Only one-third of those in the lowest quarter of socioeconomic status had a bank account, compared with 70 percent of those in the top 25 percent – the biggest such gap observed in the PISA results. Additionally, more than 40 percent of U.S. students — more than in any other country — reported receiving financial education in their classrooms from private sector individuals, such as bankers or capable non-profit volunteers.

Showing their commitment to financial education, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Schools, June Atkinson, and Governor Pat McCrory’s Senior Adviser on Education, Eric Guckian, conveyed the importance of establishing the best practices and the best resources for teaching financial literacy, during a recent press conference where the North Carolina Bankers Association announced the launch of the North Carolina Center for Financial Literacy.

“This study makes two important points. Young Americans are still not receiving effective financial education and the private sector is actively working to implement improved financial education across the board,” explained Jan Dillon, Director of the Center. “The NCCFL is on track to corral North Carolina’s financial education advocates to build a stronger voice on a topic essential to our state’s future economic success. We can reach 100% of North Carolina’s children. With this project in place, we will not relent until we are a national leader in financial education,” says Dillon.

The issue of widespread financial illiteracy in this country, especially in North Carolina, has garnered significant attention in the aftermath of the Great Recession. A report released in April placed the state 37th in a ranking of the financial literacy of all 50 states. Jan Dillon is easily contacted at 800-662-7044 or jdillon@ncbankers.org. She welcomes any organization or industry to contact her regarding their involvement in this statewide initiative. 

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About the North Carolina Bankers Association
The North Carolina Bankers Association brings together all categories of banking institutions that best represent the interests of our rapidly changing state. The state’s banks have provided support to their communities since 1805. Look for a current listing at www.ncba.com.