Chinese teens beat U.S. peers in money smarts


Chinese teenagers know more about money than American teens. See where the U.S. ranks in financial literacy:


Aaaaaaaand the stereotypes are coming in! DUCK!


US teens in the middle? I’m astounded…they are that high!

I mean this with charity, but when reading comments on forums that deal with political/economic issues, I’m surprised they did so well. Americans seem more emotional than logic when approaching money, politics, religion, culture, etc.


They only tested Shanghai which seriously skews it.


I wouldn’t be terribly surprised at this. Our k-12 system does a terrible job teaching about personal finance. Most teachers that I know seem to be abysmal at handling money.


This article reminds me of my days in the navy. We had kids getting Captain’s Mast-ed over finance on a weekly basis. Some of them knew nothing about checkbook, balancing, or basic finance.

We used to hire Mexicans. Never had issue with money with them. Now, we have two country boys. They constantly ask me to borrow money after a week into their paycheck. So annoying to say the least. However, they are good workers. Who knew 'Muricans could do the same job better than the Mexicans.


That is also my experience. I know several teachers dearly loved by me, who know almost nothing about personal finance. Fortunately, at least two of them are married to accountants.

The sisters, friars, and monks who taught me in school have an excuse. The public school teachers just ask for raises from the government money tree.


With the way the American education system is, it seems obvious that the Chinese would beat the Americans.


Not shocking, considering they and the Japanese are our biggest foreign creditors. The U.S. is just a nation of debtors, who only know borrowing.


From the article

"Nearly 20% of U.S. students didn’t even reach the baseline level of proficiency, “or the basic skills that are needed for success later in life,” according to Michael Davidson, head of early childhood education at the OECD. "

Or, in other words:

Over 80% of U.S. students reached the baseline level of proficiency or higher, or the basic skills that are needed for success later in life, according to Michael Davidson, head of early childhood education at the OECD.

So, our K-12 system seems to be getting a “B.” Perhaps you don’t know the right sort of teachers? Most teachers I know are fairly good with their money… we have to be, since we don’t make a ton of it, but hey… that’s just me.

Aren’t statistics fun?


Statistics are always fun. I am glad you brought them up. Now, what is the bar for basic financial literacy?

More than one in six students in the United States – 17.8% compared with 15.3% across OECD
countries – does not reach the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy. At best, these students can recognise the difference between needs and wants, can make simple decisions on everyday spending, and can recognise the purpose of everyday financial documents such as an invoice.

This is not a terribly high bar that they are setting. So the fact that 80% get over an incredibly low hurdle tells us very little. When the average baby boomer only has about $126k saved up in their 401ks that is not a ringing endorsement of financial literacy.


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