Teens do poorly in test of financial knowledge
In an increasingly global economy, just 1 in 10 teenagers around the world is able to make some key — but complex — financial decisions, including choosing among various loans or analyzing invoices and pay slips.
The picture is no better in the United States, where only 9.4 percent of 15-year-olds were able to answer the most-difficult questions on an international test of their financial knowledge and skills. More than 1 in 6 U.S. students did not reach the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy. At best, those students could make only simple decisions on everyday spending, said a report released Wednesday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
OECD called financial literacy “an essential life skill” for teens. Already at 15, many have bank accounts and debit cards. And “many students nearing the end of compulsory education also have to decide, with their parents, whether to continue with post-compulsory education and how to finance such education,” the report said.
China’s financial hub of Shanghai had the highest average score — 603 points — for teens who participated in OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. The U.S., by comparison, had an average score of 492 — smack in the middle of the 18 countries and economies studied. Colombia, at the bottom, scored 379.