FINRA Investor Education Foundation released its 2016 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) and its findings show that while most Americans are growing more financially capable, there are still millions who struggle with making ends meet – particularly women, millennials, African-Americans, Hispanics, and those lacking a high school education. These findings are drawn from studies that go back to 2009 when the first survey was conducted. Subsequent surveys were conducted in 2012 and 2015.
Among the study’s most significant findings:
- 56% of respondents with financially dependent children said that they have not set aside money for their children’s college education.
- Hispanics and African-Americans are much more likely to use high-cost forms of borrowing like pawn shops and payday loans compared to whites—39 percent for African-Americans, 34 percent for Hispanics and 21 percent for whites; and
- Only 37 percent of respondents are considered to have high financial literacy, meaning they could answer four or more questions on a five-question financial literacy quiz—down from 39 percent in 2012 and 42 percent in 2009.
Based on these findings, it is clear that CEE’s mission is crucial in closing the gap between those who are financially capable and those who are not. To learn more about how you can make a difference in your local community or state, visit our Survey of the States page and take action to help us ensure every student in the U.S. receives a personal finance education.
The survey’s full data set, methodology and related questionnaire are available at USFinancialCapability.org.