New Jersey ranked in the top five in a national study evaluating a number of critical stats that lead to financial literacy.
The group analyzed financial education programs and consumer habits in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in order to determine which areas of the country are most and least financially literate.
New Hampshire took the top spot, but New Jersey placed high in education, borrowing and saving metrics.
Here’s how New Jersey ranked:
- 8th – High School Financial Literacy Program Grade
- 3rd – High School Dropout Rate
- 4th – Percentage of People with a Bachelor’s Degree
- 38th – FINRA Financial Literacy Survey
- 19th – Percentage of People Spending More Than They Make
- 5th – Percentage of People with a Rainy Day Fund
- 1st – Percentage of People Borrowing from Non-Bank Lenders
According to Wallethub, two of the biggest hurdles when it comes to evaluating a given area’s financial literacy are defining financial literacy and identifying accessible indicators without mistaking financial hardship for the inability to make sound financial decisions:
“The past few years have been disproportionately rough on certain demographics and geographies, which means comparing states based on factors such as average credit score or number of bankruptcies per capita would reveal far more about temporary macroeconomic dynamics and the country’s wealth disparity than financial literacy.
Financial literacy ultimately comes down to familiarity with key themes and concepts, the ability to think critically, good judgment and self-restraint. We felt that the following 12 metrics, which we separated into two main categories – Knowledge & Education and Planning & Daily Habits – were indicative of those qualities and ideals, revealing the resources that are being put toward financial education in each state as well as behavioral characteristics that are indicative of not only how well those programs are working, but also how well local values mesh with the tents of responsible money management.