The 2020 TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index: Changes Over Time

Relative rankings of functional knowledge based on the percentage of correctly answered questions remains almost unchanged between the 2017 and 2020 P-Fin Indices (Figure 5). Borrowing is where knowledge is highest in each year of the index. Seven functional areas have seen an increased percentage of correctly answered questions, some marginal and others more noteworthy—correct answers increased 7 percentage points for earning and 6 percentage points for savings. The 3-percentage point increase for go-to information sources is also statistically significant.9 The one area with a decrease (2 percentage points) in the percentage of correctly answered questions is where financial literacy has been lowest in all four years—comprehending risk. This decrease was not statistically significant.

Figure 5
Source: TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (2017, 2020).

Increases in the percentage of correctly answered questions for other functional areas were not statistically significant at the 5% level. The increase for insuring was statistically significant at the 10% level, however.

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