Financial literacy is a growing area of focus for academics, from public-school policymakers to university researchers, but how do consumers rank its importance?
Personal financial website WalletHub recently examined data from the US Census, the FDIC, and other sources across 17 data points, including high-school financial literacy grades and shares of adults with rainy-day funds.
Among the findings:
|Most Financially Literate States||Least Financially Literate States|
|1. Virginia||42. Rhode Island|
|2. Utah||43. District of Columbia|
|3. Colorado||44. West Virginia|
|4. New Hampshire||45. Oklahoma|
|5. New Jersey||46. South Dakota|
|6. Maine||47. New Mexico|
|7. Minnesota||48. Mississippi|
|8. Iowa||49. Arkansas|
|9. Washington||50. Louisiana|
|10. North Carolina||51. Alaska|
But what about the Peach State?
WalletHub found that Georgia ranked 27th. Our state ranked 24th for Wallet Literacy, 22nd for Financial Planning and Habits, and 39th for Financial Knowledge & Education.
- Wisconsin has the lowest share of residents who spend more than they earn, 14.03 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in Alaska, the state with the highest at 26.71 percent.
- New York has the lowest share of residents paying only the minimum on their credit card(s), 27.57 percent, which is 1.7 times lower than in Mississippi, the state with the highest at 46.32 percent.
- Colorado has the highest share of residents who attended financial-education classes or counseling sessions in past 12 months, 7.50 percent, which is 3.8 times higher than in West Virginia, the state with the lowest at 2.00 percent.
- New Hampshire has the lowest share of unbanked households, 0.50 percent, which is 25.6 times lower than in Mississippi, the state with the highest at 12.80 percent.
April is National Financial Literacy Month. You can read more about the study and its methodology here.