Hawaii Fares Well in Financial Literacy

December 8, 2010, 10:06 AM HST · Updated December 15, 2:39 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Hawaii fared well in a survey on financial literacy, but some in the islands are still struggling to make ends meet.

A new survey on Financial Literacy finds that Hawaii residents are more financially literate than the national average.  Study participants were asked questions covering concepts of economics and finance expressed in everyday life.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

According to the survey conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Hawaii fared better than the national average in Financial Knowledge.  On average, individuals in Hawaii answered 3.06 of the five basic financial literacy questions correctly.  The national average was 2.99 correct answers.

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Hawaii also did better than the national average in Financial Decision Making.  The report notes that nationally, 62 percent of people failed to comparison shop for credit cards.  Here in Hawaii, the score was 2 percentage points better at 60 percent.

Hawaii also performed better than the national average in Managing Financial Products.  Nationally, 24 percent of Americans have engaged in some form of high-cost, non-bank borrowing during the last five years, including taking out a payday loan, or getting an advance on a tax refund.  Here in Hawaii, the score was three percentage points lower at 21 percent.

Hawaii’s score for planning ahead was on par with the nation.  In Hawaii, 60 percent of individuals do not have a “rainy day” fund to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies.  That’s the same score as the national average.

The state did bring in a lower than average score for the Making Ends Meet category, with 56% of Hawaii residents living paycheck to paycheck.  Nationally, 55 percent of Americans report spending more than or about equal to their household income.

The State-by-State Financial Capability Survey included participation from 28,000 respondents, and was developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

*** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on the Building Dedication in Honor of Maui’s Late Rep. Bob Nakasone.

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