Skip to main content

India's financial literacy worse than Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, BRICS nations: Top rating agency S&P

By Our Representative
A new survey released by well-known rating agency Standard & Poor (S&P) has found that just 24 per cent of the adult Indians are financially literate, which is worse than not just the “competing” BRICS economies but two of its important neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Pakistan’s 26 per cent and Sri Lanka’s 35 per cent adults are financially literate, it says. Bangladesh's financial literacy rate is 19 per cent.
What makes the survey particularly significant that two the three authors of the report based on it, titled “Financial Literacy Around the World”, are with the World Bank – Leora Klapper and Peter van Oudheusden, both belonging to the World Bank Development Research Group. The third author, Annamaria Lusardi, is with the prestigious George Washington University School of Business.
As for the BRICS countries, the report says, “In the major emerging economies—the so-called BRICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa)—on average, 28 percent of adults are financially literate. Disparities exist among these countries, too, with rates ranging from 24 percent in India to 42 percent in South Africa.”
Contrasting this with the developed world, the report says, “On average, 55 percent of adults in the major advanced economies–Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States–are financially literate, though adding, “But even across these countries, financial literacy rates range widely, from 37 percent in Italy to 68 percent in Canada.”
The report finds that “Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden have the highest literacy rates in the European Union: at least 65 percent of their adults are financially literate”, though adding, “Rates are much lower in southern Europe. For example, in Greece and Spain, literacy rates are 45 percent and 49 percent, respectively.”
The report does not think that incomes explain worldwide differences in financial literacy. It says, while it true that “in richer countries, proxied by GDP per capita, financial literacy rates tend to be higher”, however, it underlines, “The relationship only holds when looking at the richest 50 per cent of economies. In these economies, around 38 percent of the variation in financial literacy rates can be explained by differences in income across countries.”
As for the poorer half of economies, the report says, “With a GDP per capita of $12,000 or less, there is no evidence that income is associated with financial literacy. What this likely means is that national-level policies, such as those related to education and consumer protection, shape financial literacy in these economies more than any other factor.”
The report finds that “financial literacy rates differ in important ways when it comes to characteristics such as gender, education level, income, and age”, saying, “Worldwide, 35 percent of men are financially literate, compared with 30 percent of women. While women are less likely to provide correct answers to the financial literacy questions, they are also more likely to indicate that they ‘don’t know’ the answer, a finding consistently observed in other studies as well.”
Pointing out that this gender gap is found in “both advanced economies and emerging economies”, the report says, “Women have weaker financial skills than men even considering variations in age, country, education, and income. The average gender gap in financial literacy in emerging economies is 5 percentage points, not different from the worldwide gap, though it is absent in China and South Africa.”
“There is also a gap in financial literacy when looking at relative income in the BRICS economies. Thirty-one per cent of the rich in these economies are financially literate, compared to only 23 percent of the poor”, the report states.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”