Utah is one of four states receiving an A- on the 2016 National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy, which was released by Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy. The other states are Minnesota, North Dakota and Hawaii.
The report card assesses the problem of adult financial illiteracy nationally, and gives grades to each state based on data gleaned from national organizations that track Americans’ financial knowledge, credit, saving and spending, retirement readiness, investing, and levels of insurance.
John Pelletier, executive director of the center, said in a prepared statement that even those states like Utah with A- or other high grades are merely the best among a group of low-performing states. No state received an A or A+.
“Our report shows that our nation has dramatic room for improvement, so one should not be misled by grades,” Pelletier said. “For example, while adults in Utah perform well in important areas like personal finance education, saving and spending, and student loans, they can improve in other areas, like lowering bankruptcy rates and increasing home equity.”
Twenty-four percent of Utah grades were C, D or F.
To arrive at relative grades, 59 data points were drawn from 18 national organizations.
The center’s report card shows more than three-quarters of adults live in states with poor grades. This means that too many American adults are deficient in financial knowledge and skills, which leads them to make uninformed and often poor decisions about their money.
A former finance executive, Pelletier says the challenge is educating the millions of Americans who misuse credit, don’t save for a rainy day or for retirement, don’t pay their bills on time or have a budget, or know how to invest or plan for the future.
To view the full report, visit champlain.edu/centers-of-excellence/center-for-financial-literacy/national-report-card-on-adult-financial-literacy.