Research

Reading and financial capability: exploring the relationships

Added 29 Mar 2019

How good a reader a child is relates to how financially capable they are. Indeed, this report shows that children and young people who have good reading skills are four times as likely to have good financial skills compared with their peers who have poor reading skills. The reasons for this link are complex, and we bring together three broad areas of education – reading, financial capability and general academic motivation – to understand how they are related.

Building on our previous research on how literacy impacts different aspects of people’s lives, this is the first time we have explored whether and how literacy and financial capability are associated. We have developed a comprehensive model, which shows that reading and financial capability can be linked through general academic motivation.

Our report found that:

  • Children and young people who have good reading skills are four times as likely to have good financial skills than their peers who have poor reading skills (35.6% vs 8.8%)
  • Children and young people who have poor reading skills are four times as likely to also have poor financial skills (56.3% vs 12.3%)
  • Our survey of 2,943 primary and secondary school students (aged 9-17) found that students generally think and behave positively when it comes to reading and financial matters: 93.6% agreed that it is important to learn how to manage your money, while 77.3% said they read outside class every week
  • The degree to which children don’t give up – their perseverance – is a direct predictor of skills in reading and financial capability

The report is funded by the Hymans Robertson Foundation.