Australia is equal fifth in an international assessment of young people’s financial literacy, according to a report released by ACER.
Conducted in 2015 as part of the OECD PISA with funding from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as the Australian Government agency responsible for financial literacy, the PISA financial literacy assessment measured 15-year-olds’ knowledge of personal finances and their ability to apply this knowledge to financial problems. A total of 53,000 students from 15 economies participated in the assessment, including 14,530 Australian students from 758 schools. In Australia, all students sampled for PISA were also sampled for the financial literacy assessment.
According to the report, Australian students achieved an average score of 504 points, significantly above the OECD average of 489 points but lower than the average score of 526 points that Australian students achieved in 2012.
The Australian average score was higher than the United States, Poland, Italy, Spain, the Slovak Republic, Chile, Lithuania, Peru and Brazil, but lower than the average score for the participating Chinese provinces, as well as Belgium, Canada and the Russian Federation.
ACER Chief Executive Prof Geoff Masters AO said students’ financial literacy depended in part on their overall mathematical and reading literacy.
“On average, for Australia, around 29 per cent of the financial literacy score reflected factors that were uniquely captured by the financial literacy assessment, while the remaining 71 per cent reflected skills in mathematical or reading literacy,” Masters said.
The PISA 2015: Financial literacy assessment report also showed:
“This report shows that financial literacy is also declining. In general, high performers in mathematics and reading are also high performers in financial literacy, while low performers in mathematics and reading are low performers in financial literacy,” Masters said.