U.S. teenagers scored just below the average for developed countries in a major financial literacy test, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said today. American 15-year-olds scored an average of 487 for financial literacy on the OECD’s most recent PISA test, just below the average of 489 and five points below their score of 492 three years before.
More than one in five U.S. students did not reach the baseline level of financial literacy proficiency, the OECD found, while about 10 percent scored as a “top performer.” Students with bank accounts performed better, even after factoring in socioeconomic differences that showed students from wealthier backgrounds being more likely to have bank accounts.
The OECD administered the financial literacy test for the second time as part of PISA’s most recent round of testing in 2015. Approximately 48,000 took the test in 15 countries, which covered five increasing levels of personal finance skills. Students were tested on understanding an invoice, buying goods in a store, reading a pay stub and evaluating an offer of credit.