New 10-Country Study on Personal Financial Control and Financial Security Results Announced

May 24, 2018

Roughly one in four in the U.S. would not be able to cover their basic needs for more than one month with their current savings. And almost half say they have tried to save before, but have not been able. These findings, announced last week from a Gallup, MetLife Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors study on personal Financial Control and Security, are but two interesting data points from the 15,000-person, ten-country study.

Substantial literature supports findings that access to and use of financial services has a significant positive impact on people’s lives. Moreover, extensive research has defined numerous valuable measures of financial inclusion and financial literacy. This study builds on those concepts to develop a new standard of measure for perceived financial control through the eyes of individuals around the world, an important and complementary dimension of financial health.

Within this project, financial control is defined as “the extent to which people perceive they are in control of and can influence their financial situation.” This new measure, along with the wide range of other questions included in the survey, will allow for a better understanding of whether people are making sufficient use of financial services, and using their knowledge of and access to those services, to take control of their finances and improve their overall financial health.

The study provides important insights into the lives and financial decision-making processes of poor and low-income people. One goal of the study is to use these insights to help organizations, financial institutions, NGOs, charitable foundations, social enterprises and other stakeholders better understand how financial services are improving lives—from the perspective of those impacted. Our hope is that the data also will be useful to the business and financial services sectors in their efforts to develop and deliver services or products that are more responsive or “customer-centric.”

To review the findings and summary, click here.