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Aussie girls outshine boys on financial literacy

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Fifteen-year-old girls might not be known for being money savvy but Australia's female students have outperformed their male counterparts in an international financial literacy test.

The OECD assessment found Aussie teens ranked equal fifth out of 15 countries.

With a mean score of 510 points, Australian female students performed significantly higher than male students, with a mean score of 498 points.

girls financial literacy money savvy oecd sharyn mccowen

One in six Australians students was ranked as a high performer in the test, which assessed the financial knowledge of 15-year-olds and their ability to respond to financial questions.

But, with one in five ranked as a low performer, there is still work to be done, says ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell.

"While this is better than the OECD average of 22%, it indicates that there is more to be done in Australia to build financial literacy and capability at all levels of education," Kell says.

"In an increasingly cashless society, it's more important than ever that Australian students have the capacity to budget and manage their money through key life transitions such as their first job, starting university and moving out of home."

The results also illustrate an alarming disparity in financial knowledge between non-Indigenous and Indigenous students.

Indigenous students scored a mean result of 411 points, significantly lower than the OECD average of 489 points and also significantly lower than that of non-Indigenous Australian students, at 508 points.

Almost 80% of Australian students have a bank account, and 84% said they discuss money with their parents at least once a month.

Kell encourages young Australians to visit ASIC's MoneySmart website to improve their financial literacy.

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Sharyn McCowen is Money's digital editor. She has a degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University, and was a newspaper reporter before moving to magazines and finance.
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