Where Americans Are Most and Least Financially Literate in 2021

by akoloy


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Editor’s Note: This story initially appeared on SmartAsset.com.

Individuals with greater ranges of economic literacy have a tendency to stick to higher monetary practices — reminiscent of having an emergency fund and planning for retirement — and are additionally extra more likely to build wealth additional by investing within the inventory market.

Many Americans, nonetheless, lack monetary information and don’t observe monetary greatest practices. Less than 50% of American adults have put aside three months’ value of emergency funds, solely 41% have tried to determine retirement financial savings wants and simply 32% have investments other than retirement accounts.

In mild of Financial Literacy Month this April, SmartAsset took a more in-depth take a look at monetary literacy within the U.S.

In this research, we focus on the rising variety of states with monetary training requirements together with how adults fare when requested a collection of economics and private finance quiz questions. Using information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Foundation, the Council for Economic Education and Experian, we then determine the states the place residents are most and least financially literate.

For particulars on our information sources and the way we put all the data collectively to create our findings, try the Data and Methodology part under.

Financial Education and Literacy within the U.S.

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The variety of states requiring that private finance be included of their training requirements has grown considerably over the previous twenty years. According to information from the Council for Economic Education, solely 21 states included private funds of their Ok-12 requirements in 1998, relative to 45 states in 2020.

Though the prevalence of economic training within the U.S. is rising, many adults wrestle when requested to answer questions masking basic ideas of economics and private finance. The FINRA Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study asks respondents a collection of six quiz questions, proven under. Multiple alternative solutions are proven under the questions.

Correct solutions are listed on the finish of the research within the Data and Methodology part.

  1. Mortgage Question: A 15-year mortgage usually requires greater month-to-month funds than a 30-year mortgage, however the complete curiosity paid over the lifetime of the mortgage can be much less.
    a) True
    b) False
  2. Interest Rate Question: Suppose you had $100 in a financial savings account and the rate of interest was 2% per yr. After 5 years, how a lot do you suppose you’d have within the account when you left the cash to develop?
    a) More than $102
    b) Exactly $102
    c) Less than $102
  3. Inflation Question: Imagine that the rate of interest in your financial savings account was 1% per yr and inflation was 2% per yr. After 1 yr, how a lot would you be capable to purchase with the cash on this account?
    a) More than in the present day
    b) Exactly the identical
    c) Less than in the present day
  4. Risk Question: Buying a single firm’s inventory often supplies a safer return than a inventory mutual fund.
    a) True
    b) False
  5. Compound Interest in Debt Question: Suppose you owe $1,000 on a mortgage and the rate of interest you’re charged is 20% per yr compounded yearly. If you didn’t pay something off, at this rate of interest, what number of years would it not take for the quantity you owe to double?
    a) Less than two years
    b) At least two years however lower than 5 years
    c) At least 5 years however lower than 10 years
    d) At least 10 years
  6. Bond Price Question: If rates of interest rise, what’s going to usually occur to bond costs?
    a) They will rise
    b) They will fall
    c) They will keep the identical
    d) There isn’t any relationship between bond costs and the rate of interest

On common, adults surveyed had been in a position to reply solely half (i.e., three) of the above questions appropriately. In reality, solely 7% of adults had been in a position to appropriately reply all six questions.

The compound curiosity in debt and bond worth questions had been essentially the most tough for respondents. Less than 1 in 3 respondents had been in a position to appropriately reply both query. Meanwhile, greater than 70% of adults appropriately answered each the mortgage and rate of interest questions.

Here are the states the place Americans are most financially literate.

1. North Dakota

North Dakota wind turbines farm
northlight / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 100.00

Financial Practices Score: 90.79

Ranking Index: 95.39

2. Minnesota

Victoria, Minnesota
Susan Rydberg / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 84.78

Financial Practices Score: 100.00

Ranking Index: 92.39

3. New Hampshire

Hudson New Hampshire
Anthony Dezenzio / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 96.74

Financial Practices Score: 69.08

Ranking Index: 82.91

4. Nebraska

Sunset over Nebraska farm
ehrlif / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 73.91

Financial Practices Score: 88.82

Ranking Index: 81.36

5. South Dakota

Pierre, South Dakota from above
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 93.48

Financial Practices Score: 62.50

Ranking Index: 77.99

6. Utah

Utah
Sean Xu / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 91.30

Financial Practices Score: 59.87

Ranking Index: 75.59

7. Kansas

Kansas Wind Farm
KSwinicki / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 81.52

Financial Practices Score: 67.11

Ranking Index: 74.31

8. Wisconsin

Eau Claire, Wisconsin
mattckaiser / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 68.48

Financial Practices Score: 74.34

Ranking Index: 71.41

9. Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 52.17

Financial Practices Score: 90.13

Ranking Index: 71.15

10. Colorado

Denver Colorado
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 65.22

Financial Practices Score: 76.97

Ranking Index: 71.10

Next, we’ll skip down the checklist to the least financially literate states.

41. Delaware

Newark Delaware
Perry C / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 32.61

Financial Practices Score: 28.95

Ranking Index: 30.78

42. Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 60.87

Financial Practices Score: 0

Ranking Index: 30.43

43. Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 20.65

Financial Practices Score: 34.87

Ranking Index: 27.76

44. Texas

Fort Worth Texas
Barbara Smyers / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 22.83

Financial Practices Score: 22.37

Ranking Index: 22.60

45. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 13.04

Financial Practices Score: 26.32

Ranking Index: 19.68

46. Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 35.87

Financial Practices Score: 3.29

Ranking Index: 19.58

47. Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 pictures / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 9.78

Financial Practices Score: 25.66

Ranking Index: 17.72

48. Indiana

Carmel, Indiana
Golden Ratio Photos / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 6.52

Financial Practices Score: 22.37

Ranking Index: 14.45

49. Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 9.78

Financial Practices Score: 17.11

Ranking Index: 13.44

50. West Virginia

West Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Financial Knowledge & Education Score: 0.00

Financial Practices Score: 7.89

Ranking Index: 3.9

Data and Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

To discover the states the place Americans are most and least financially literate, we examined information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia throughout two classes that embrace seven particular person metrics:

  • Financial information and training. For our monetary information and training index, we analyzed the state’s monetary training rating, proportion of adults that imagine they’ve a excessive degree of economic information and proportion of appropriately answered private finance quiz questions. The state’s monetary training rating comes from the Council for Economic Education. Data for the opposite two metrics comes from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Foundation’s 2018 National Financial Capability Study.
  • Financial practices. For our monetary practices index, we analyzed common credit score rating, proportion of adults with a three-month emergency fund, proportion of adults paying their bank card invoice in full month-to-month and proportion of adults frequently contributing to an IRA or 401(okay). Average credit score rating figures come from Experian. Data for the opposite three metrics comes from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Foundation’s 2018 National Financial Capability Study.

We created our ultimate rankings by first rating every state for every particular person metric. Then we averaged the rankings throughout the 2 classes listed above. For every class, the state with the very best common rating acquired a rating of 100. The state with the bottom common acquired a rating of 0. Finally, we created our ultimate rating by discovering every state’s common rating throughout the 2 classes.

The solutions to the FINRA Foundation NFCS quiz questions are as follows:

  • Mortgage Question – a) True
  • Interest Rate Question – a) More than $102
  • Inflation Question – c) Less than in the present day
  • Risk Question – b) False
  • Compound Interest in Debt Question – b) At least two years however lower than 5 years
  • Bond Price Question – b) They will fall

Disclosure: The data you learn right here is all the time goal. However, we generally obtain compensation while you click on hyperlinks inside our tales.



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