Financial Numeracy

Basic financial numeracy is the foundation for financial literacy and, with it, the road to financial inclusion. Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) measures and tracks basic financial literacy in all countries, assessing the degree to which the population is numerate, as well as the connectivity between numeracy, literacy, and desirable financial mechanisms.

Measuring basic financial numeracy captures the ability to complete basic mathematical functions including addition, division, and savings and loan interest. Answering all of the questions correctly places the respondent in the high range, answering half or more correctly comprises the middle range, and less than half equals the low range.

There are large differences in financial numeracy levels across FII countries. In India, two-thirds of adults (65%) have a high level of numeracy, compared with only one in five adults (20%) in Uganda. Uganda is particularly troubling, with two in five adults (40%) having a low level of numeracy; Tanzania follows with 14% of adults having a low level of financial numeracy. All other countries have less than 10% in the low category. Demographic breakdowns follow the same patterns as financial inclusion overall—with female, rural, and below-poverty-line groups having lower numeracy abilities than their counterparts. Education and technology are the two major avenues to increasing the ability to navigate the way to financial inclusion.

Financial Numeracy

Total Population
65% of people in India have high financial numeracy.

Financial Numeracy and Financial Inclusion

Just 28% of Ugandans who have basic literacy have high financial numeracy.

Financial Numeracy, Gender, and Poverty

By Gender
By Poverty

In which country do more than three-quarters of mobile phone owners have high financial numeracy?

A. Bangladesh
B. Tanzania
C. India
D. Nigeria
C. India

True or false

Among the South Asian FII countries, Bangladesh has the lowest percentage of men with a low understanding of financial numeracy.

True (only 3% of Bangladeshi men have a low understanding of financial numeracy)

True or false

In India, more than three-quarters of individuals residing in urban areas are likely to have high financial numeracy.

True (76% of urban individuals in India have a high understanding of financial numeracy, compared to 59% in rural areas)

Which FII country has the greatest percentage of adults in the high financial numeracy category?

India (65%)

True or false

Among the FII countries, the country with the largest financial numeracy gap between those above and below the $2.50/day poverty line is India.

True (87% of Indians above the poverty line have high levels of financial numeracy, compared with only 58% of Indians below the poverty line)

Which FII country has the greatest percentage of adults in the low financial numeracy category?

Uganda (40%)