American students’ level of financial literacy, in comparison to that of other country’s students’, is distinctly average. A recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development revealed that more than one in six U.S. teens are unable to make simple, everyday choices about spending, and only one in ten can solve complex financial tasks.
The findings resulted from an assessment of teens’ financial aptitude in skills such as understanding a bank statement. The U.S. ranked between 8-12 out of 18 countries and economies, with a mean score of 492. The OECD found 17.8% of US students do not even reach the baseline level of financial proficiency, compared to 15.3% in other OECD countries. The highest-ranking country, Shanghai-China, had an average score of 603. Colombia ranked last with a mean of 379.
With looming college debt and increasingly complex retirement plans, financial literacy is becoming increasingly important, especially for young adults, John W. Rogers, Jr., Chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Adults said at a panel at George Washington University Wednesday.