Shanghai-China Tops Financial Literacy Test

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Shanghai-China is tops in a financial literacy test conducted for 15-year olds across 18 different countries in the world by the OECD.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

15-year olds in Shanghai China had the highest average score in financial literacy, followed by the Flemish Community of Belgium, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and Poland. On average, all of the countries scored above the average for the participating OECD countries and economies.

The test was administered by the OECD among approximately 29 000 students in 13 oecd countries and economies (Australia, the Flemish community of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, the Slovak republic, Slovenia, Spain and the United States) and five partner countries and economies (Colombia, Croatia, Latvia, the Russian Federation and Shanghai-China), representing 40% of World GDP. The results were presented on Wednesday at a World Press Conference.

The financial literacy assessment by the OECD offers the first ever international assessment of the financial knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students. A second assessment is planned for 2015, which will make it possible to monitor change and provide further evidence on the design and implementation of policies to enhance financial literacy.

The assessment showed that gender gaps in financial literacy among 15-year-olds are small, unlike those found in adult populations. It also showed that students’ attitudes towards learning, such as perseverance and openness to problem solving, are positively associated with financial literacy. Students in some countries that perform well in financial literacy, such as Australia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Flemish Community of Belgium and New Zealand, score higher in financial literacy, on average, than their performance in mathematics and reading would predict.

The study also shows that although financial literacy skills are positively correlated with mathematics and reading skills, high performance in one of those core subjects does not necessarily signal proficiency in financial literacy.

Explaining the relevance of the study, the OECD report notes that financial literacy is an essential life skill, and high on the global policy agenda.

The report states that shrinking welfare systems, shifting demographics, and the increased sophistication and expansion of financial services have all contributed to a greater awareness of the importance of ensuring that citizens and consumers of all ages are financially literate. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently launched a financial literacy campeign in Nigeria.

Here is a link to the full report

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-volume-vi.pdf