Least Financially Literate States: District of Columbia Takes The Crown

With National Financial Literacy Month coming up in April, the free-credit-score website WalletHub today released its report on 2016’s Most & Least Financially Literate States, which analyzes financial education programs and consumer habits in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Our data set of 12 key metrics — including the results of WalletHub’s proprietary WalletLiteracy Survey — ranges from Champlain University’s High School Financial Literacy Grades to the percentage of residents with a rainy-day fund.

Most Financially Literate States Least Financially Literate States
1 New Hampshire 42 Rhode Island
2 Minnesota 43 Louisiana
3 Illinois 44 Kentucky
4 New Jersey 45 Missouri
5 Maryland 46 New Mexico
6 Maine 47 Mississippi
7 Florida 48 Arkansas
8 Utah 49 Nevada
9 New York 50 Alaska
10 Virginia 51 District of Columbia

Comparing the States:

  • Kansas has the highest WalletLiteracy score, 76.70, which is 42% higher than in Missouri, where it is lowest, 53.89.
  • Hawaii and Nevada have the highest percentage of people overspending their income, 23 percent, which is two times higher than in Maryland, where it is lowest, 14 percent.
  • Arizona has the highest percentage of residents with rainy-day funds, 53 percent, which is two times higher than in Mississippi, New Mexico and Indiana, where it is lowest, 33 percent.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of residents who compare credit-card offers before applying, 43 percent, which is two times higher than in Minnesota, where it is lowest, 24 percent.
  • Mississippi has the highest percentage of unbanked households, 14.5 percent, which is eight times higher than in Alaska, where it is lowest, 1.9 percent.
  • Iowa has the highest public high school graduation rate, 90.5 percent, which is two times higher than in District of Columbia, where it is lowest, 61.4 percent.
  • Utah has the highest percentage of residents who provided at least four correct answers on the FINRA’s financial literacy test, 49 percent, which is two times higher than in Indiana, where it is lowest, 28 percent.
  • There is a 43 percent correlation between a state’s financial literacy and its credit score. That means the states with the highest financial literacy tend to have also the highest credit score.
  • People who make more than $150,000 per year know the most about money, registering an average WalletLiteracy score of 78.89 – 32% higher than the 59.81 average earned by those making less than $25,000.

Source: WalletHub
Least-financially-literate-states-artwork Least Financially Literate States

Least Financially Literate States

Least Financially Literate States: District of Columbia Takes The Crown