Canadian youth shine at financial literacy

A global survey reveals good financial habits and behaviours among Canadian teens

Canadian youth shine at financial literacy
A report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has revealed that Canadian youth are among the world’s top-performing students in terms of financial literacy.

In the organisation’s triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), 15-year-olds from around the world were assessed by how they perform tasks associated with financial literacy. Compared to the average of 78% among 15 participating OECD countries and economies, 87% of Canadian students demonstrated at least the minimum level of financial literacy required to fully participate in modern society. Overall, Canada tied at second place with Belgium, and China took the top spot.

Most of the participating Canadian students reported habits associated with good financial management later in life. They reported saving money regularly, and while the survey focused mainly on knowledge and skills learned in school, the results also found extracurricular factors at play. For example, those who worked odd jobs or had their own bank account tended to demonstrate stronger financial literacy.

Discussions with parents also correlated with increased financial literacy. Canadian students who talked about money matters with their parents once or twice a week had the highest scores. Such discussions are encouraged by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) as part of its national strategy for financial literacy.

FCAC works with the provinces, the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy, and other public and private stakeholders to reach Canadians in workplaces, schools, and community organizations. The financial literacy assessment in Canada was funded by FCAC and administered by the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada (CMEC) in the seven provinces that chose to take part.

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