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Ukrainians Advancing in Financial Literacy in the Last Three Years, Survey Says

Ukrainians Advancing in Financial Literacy in the Last Three Years, Survey Says

In the last three years, the overall financial literacy score of Ukraine increased to 12.3 vs 11.6 in 2018. 

There are the findings of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project, run jointly with the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), according to the research Financial Literacy, Financial Inclusion and Financial Well-being in Ukraine in 2021. This has been a second survey on financial awareness of Ukrainians conducted according to the methodology of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (OECD).

"At the beginning of 2020, the NBU was granted a mandate to advance financial literacy of the public. The NBU is currently working jointly with Ukrainian ministries and agencies on a National Strategy for Financial Literacy Development until 2025. The joint strategy and its road map will let us more effectively work on financial literacy improvements by engaging state authorities, international organizations, financial market participants, educational facilities, experts, and nongovernmental organizations," said Kyrylo Shevchenko, NBU Governor.

Compared to other countries, Ukraine has surpassed Georgia (12.1), Romania (11.2), and even Italy (11.1) in terms of the financial literacy score, and is currently sharing the same levels with Bulgaria and Croatia.

All components of the score have improved, such as financial knowledge, financial behavior, financial attitude, and others. At the same time, there is still enough room for improvement. This year’s indicator is only 58% of the maximum possible score of 21, and is lower than the minimum target score recommended by the OECD (14).

Ukrainians aged 25–34 (12.7) and 30–59 (12.6) reported to have the highest level of financial literacy. Young people aged 18–19 (10.1) and senior citizens older than 60 (11.6) are the least financially savvy. 

In Ukraine, the total financial literacy score showed no difference by gender – Ukrainian men and women are equally financially aware (12.3 and 12.2, respectively).

However, there is a direct link between financial awareness levels and education: the higher the level of education is, the higher the financial literacy score is. The overall score of Ukrainians with secondary special education (vocational school) is 11.9, and that of persons with higher education is 13.3.

It should be additionally noted that there has been a widening of a gap in financial literacy between rural and urban areas. If in 2018, the financial literacy score was at about the same level, now the respondents from the city have 12.6 points and those from the village – 11.8 points.

The findings of the recent research on Ukraine as well as OECD data for Ukraine show that the use of cutting-edge technologies will speed up financial literacy improvements. The difference in financial awareness between users and nonusers is 2.5 points (12.4 vs 9.9, respectively). 

Financial literacy is also positively impacted by practical applications of financial knowledge: using financial services, monitoring income and expenses, financial planning, and savings. For example, about 80% of Ukrainians have knowledge of at least five financial products.

According to the research, Ukrainians focus on short-term plans and spending money rather than saving it. Every fifth Ukrainian expressed confidence in future pension provision. The population with the lowest income expect that government pension will fund their retirement, while those with the highest level rely on savings, continued work even after reaching the retirement age, or draw on other sources of provision. Some 79% of Ukrainians consider that schools should be responsible for teaching children how to manage their money.

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