TEST YOURSELF

Two-thirds of the world can’t pass this basic financial literacy test. Can you?

We could all use a crash course in personal finance.

Two-thirds of people around the world failed a short test of basic financial concepts. The five-question test—created by Standard & Poor’s, Gallup, the World Bank, and George Washington University—was posed to 150,000 people in more than 140 countries last year. It tests understanding of risk, inflation, interest, and compound interest.

To pass, people had to demonstrate competency in three out of four topics. Yet just 33% of people were able to do that. See how you fare on this slightly modified version of the quiz. After each question, we’ll tell you how various countries did on it, too.

The hardest question proved to be the one about the safest place to keep your money. Just 35% of people around the world answered it correctly. The others were answered correctly between 45% and 50% of the time.

The survey found that young people, ages 15 to 35, were the most financially literate in developing economies like Brazil, Russia, India, and China. (Kids in Shanghai are particularly adept at personal finance, a separate OECD report found.) However, in the developed world, the most financial literate cohort was adults between ages 36 and 50.

Norway has the greatest share of financially-literate people worldwide, while Yemen has the least financially literate population. The UK ranked sixth, behind Canada and ahead of the Netherlands and Germany. The United States didn’t make even the top 10.

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