A woman sifts through paperwork at a kitchen table
Knowledge is power — especially where money is concerned. (Image source: iStock.)

There’s a financial literacy gender gap − and older women are eager for education that meets their needs

Only a small fraction of women have received any financial education at all.
ByLila Rabinovich

Every day, families across the U.S. have to make difficult decisions about budgeting, spending, insurance, investments, savings, retirement and on and on. When faced with these choices, financial literacy — that is, knowing how to make informed decisions about money — is key.

Yet, Americans in general aren’t very financially literate. And recent research suggests women are less financially literate than men, regardless of their schooling, income or marital status.

As a social scientist who studies aging and the social safety net, I recently took part in a large analysis of older women’s financial literacy. My team and I found that men’s financial literacy scores were 25% higher than women’s on average, even though the two groups showed no difference in math skills or overall cognitive ability.

Black and Hispanic women saw an even greater financial literacy gender gap, with scores that were, on average, 40% to 45% lower than those of white, non-Hispanic men.

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