Australian 15-Year-Olds Know A Surprising Amount About Finance Compared To The Rest Of The World

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Australian 15-year-olds score above the average of developed countries and economies for financial literacy, according to a study by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

The mean score of 526 points puts Australia’s rank between third and fifth among all 18 participating countries and economies .

This means Australian teenagers have the finance know-how about the same as their counterparts in Estonia and New Zealand.

More than eight in 10 students in Australia (81.6%) have a bank account and they perform better than those who do not.

The financial literacy assessment shows to what extent 15-year-old students have the financial knowledge and skills needed to make a successful transition from school into higher education, employment or entrepreneurship.

“Finance is part of everyday life for many (Australian) 15-year-olds, who are already consumers of financial services, such as bank accounts,” according to the OECD study.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is impressed with the results of the first international study of students’ financial literacy.

However, ASIC says there is more to be done to prepare young Australians for the challenges of financial decision-making beyond school.

Released by the OECD as part of its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012, the study assessed the extent to which 15-year-olds across 18 countries have the financial literacy knowledge and skills to successfully transition from school into higher education, employment or entrepreneurship.

ASIC senior executive leader for financial literacy, Miles Larbey, says ASIC welcomes the fact that 16% of Australian students were top performers, compared to 10% of students across the OECD.

“On the other hand, one in 10 Australian students performed below the baseline, which suggests they are less likely to be prepared to deal with the financial decision-making demands of everyday life,” he says.

Some 29,000 15-year-olds in 18 countries and economies took part in the test.

This table shows the rankings:

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