Are U.S adults at all ages equipped to meet common financial challenges?
With five years of the Gen Z cohort now over age 18, the U.S. adult population spans five generations. Gen Z was quota-sampled when fielding the 2021 P-Fin Index survey which enables comparisons with the other generations, as well as a closer examination within the Gen Z adult population. The P-Fin Index survey also includes indicators of financial wellness along several dimensions, and those too are examined across generations and within Gen Z.
- Financial literacy tends to be low within each of the five generations, but particularly so among Gen Z. Two-thirds of Gen Z could answer only 50% or less of the index questions correctly.
- Within Gen Z, financial literacy tends to be lowest among those who have never attended college. On average, this group correctly answered only 39% of the index questions.
- Across generations, financial literacy tends to be greatest in the areas of borrowing and saving. However, financial literacy in these areas tends to be lower earlier in the lifecycle.
- Gen Z is the generation most likely to have been offered and to have participated in a financial education class or program.
- Financial challenges along many dimensions tend to be most common among Gen X, with 28% reporting they have difficulty making ends meet in a typical month.