Latest Financial Literacy Research & Data

The NFEC’s commitment to conducting financial literacy research to gain a deeper understanding of personal finance topics helps the industry obtain empirical data and professional opinions about this important subject matter. Using demand- and supply-side surveys, research, and think tanks, the NFEC gathers data and illuminates best practices to share with others in the financial literacy industry.

The NFEC’s financial literacy research is focused on 3 core areas: 1) Development of standards and best practices for teaching personal finance, 2) Establishing educational outcomes and clear educational barometers for learners, and 3) Identifying and open sourcing overall strategies that guide financial literacy initiatives. Below you will find some of the NFEC’s financial literacy research and best practices data.

Latest Financial Literacy Survey Data

The National Financial Educators Council conducts financial literacy surveys, studies, and research and hosts think tanks around topics related to financial education. We also curate the latest research and data on financial education. The objective is to gather empirical data and discover best practices to share with others in the financial literacy industry.

Financial Problems & Consequences Data

Get well-versed in the problems people can experience if they lack capability to make qualified financial decisions. A vast array of such problems can occur and they can be severe. Understanding this information will help you better communicate with others about the need for financial competence.

Financial Problems

Research on the Childhood Influencers of an Individual’s Finances

Personal financial problems have reached epidemic proportions and the consequences are potentially severe. So what’s the root cause of those problems? You will learn the answer in this next section, where we explore how people’s upbringing affects their financial situations and the challenges they face trying to overcome these problems as adults.

Childhood Influencers

Adult Influencers of an Individual’s Finances

As you learned, financial behaviors, sentiment, knowledge, and management systems start forming in childhood and are often established as habits by the time a person reaches adulthood. The problem here is that, once habits form, they are hard to change.

Adult Influencers

Testing Results Data

The NFEC conducts and reports on financial literacy rates. The data gathered using these resources will be is provided to media outlets and helps our development team address common problems to accommodate different learner needs.

Financial Literacy Statistics

Financial literacy statistics have made it abundantly clear that an illiteracy epidemic is pervasive around the world. Such startling statistics are hard to dispute and shift the burden of proof to the skeptics. The research and data demonstrate that a majority of individuals do not possess the financial expertise they need to make healthy financial choices that will benefit them in the long run.

Best Practices Research in Financial Education

The NFEC sets benchmarks for the financial education and coaching industry that will assist providers to become more effective and competent in helping individuals work toward financial wellness. The NFEC guidelines for professionals and learners set industry standards and give public assurance that educators and resources meet the highest standards for quality.

Financial Illiteracy Data

Americans and other societies throughout the world have a shared problem: financial illiteracy is pervasive in cultures around the globe. This epidemic threatens to undermine people’s lives. Bad financial planning not only undermines individual lives, but often is responsible for eroding family cohesion and relationships.

Research on Importance of Financial Literacy

There is little question that a sizable proportion of our nation’s citizens lack full capacity to handle their money effectively. Get the research and data that describes why financial literacy is important and the benefits it gives people to help them manage their money and plan for the future.

The NFEC’s commitment to conducting financial literacy research to gain a deeper understanding of personal finance topics helps the industry obtain empirical data and professional opinions about this important subject matter. Using demand- and supply-side surveys, research, and think tanks, the NFEC gathers data and illuminates best practices to share with others in the financial literacy industry.

The objective of the NFEC in gathering these data is to share best practices with the financial education industry, keep media outlets informed of the latest information, and help individuals improve their financial capabilities. Below you will find the NFEC’s financial literacy research and best practices data.

The NFEC’s financial literacy research is focused on 3 core areas: 1) Development of standards and best practices for teaching personal finance, 2) Establishing educational outcomes and clear educational barometers for learners, 3) Identify and open source overall strategies that guide financial literacy initiatives.

Financial Educator Standards

Framework for Teaching Personal Finance

Effective educators help learners achieve better outcomes. Numerous studies have shown that students taught by highly-qualified educators accomplish more positive outcomes than less-qualified instructors teaching financial literacy.

The NFEC teamed with the Danielson Group, developers of the most widely referenced educator standards in the industry. This collaboration yielded the first and only national standards for financial educators – the Framework for Teaching Personal Finance. The Framework defines the skill sets distinguished educators should possess and performance levels that define optimal educator capabilities.

The NFEC developed the Framework for Teaching Personal Finance to share benchmarks with the financial education industry and provides clear performance criteria. The qualifications set forth in the Framework give public assurance that financial education instructors are held to the highest standards of practice.

Train to Meet Framework Standards – Click Here

Financial Education Student Standards

Financial Literacy Learner Standards

The NFEC made the Framework and Standards available to the public to provide educators and learners with guidelines for improving financial capabilities. Many national financial literacy tests demonstrate financial literacy levels are low. The overall purpose of the Framework is to improve the quality and enhance the impact of financial literacy instruction. We plan to issue annual updates as testing results and feedback are assessed.

During the course of developing over 400 hours of curriculum, the NFEC’s development team noticed a major problem with existing financial education standards: existing industry guidelines did not align with students’ cognitive abilities to evaluate key concepts. Therefore NFEC created new industry standards that align with the cognitive abilities of individual students, learning preferences at various ages, and real-world practicability. A qualified team of more than 30 financial professionals was consulted to ensure this alignment.

In the Financial Literacy Framework and Standards below you will find big ideas, supporting standards, and essential questions. The big ideas provide the context of what students should learn and demonstrate relationships between critical components. The standards describe what is necessary to achieve the big ideas. These pieces work together to help educators and administration plan clear learning outcomes for participants.

Access Curriculum Aligned with Standards – Click Here

Global Financial Literacy Research & Strategy

National Financial Capability Strategy

The National Financial Capability Strategy report presents some of the overall strategies identified by various agencies to guide nationwide financial literacy promotion. From our analysis three common themes emerged that might usefully underpin national standards for promoting financial literacy.

The NFEC analyzed 47 recent proceedings documents, agency reports, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed research articles to clarify key points of agreement and topics for future research. Materials from the U.S. plus five other countries, along with documents from the International Forum for Investor Education (IFIE), International Monetary Fund (IMF), National Financial Educators Council, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and World Bank were reviewed for this analysis.

To further the financial literacy movement and promote best practices among the industry, the NFEC has open-sourced the research on which its business model is based. We encourage other organizations to adopt best practices outlined in this report to help propel the financial literacy movement beyond the tipping point.