Surveys on Financial Literacy and Digital Financial Skills in Italy: Adults

The first findings from the new survey on adult financial literacy in Italy conducted by the Bank of Italy were published today.

The Bank of Italy has been conducting a triennial survey on the financial literacy in Italy (IACOFI) since 2017. The survey is based on a harmonized methodology developed by the International Network on Financial Education (INFE) of the OECD. Questions assessing the digital financial skills of respondents have been introduced into the 2023 edition, which is conducted simultaneously in approximately 30 countries.

Compared with 2020, the level of adult financial literacy in Italy has increased slightly in 2023, though remaining at low levels (from 10.2 in 2020 to 10.6 in 2023 on a scale from 0 to 20). This improvement is driven by financial behaviour (from 4.2 to 4.6 on a scale from 0 to 9) and attitudes (from 2.0 to 2.3 on a scale from 0 to 4).

The behaviour dimension considers the management of financial resources in the short and long term, while the attitude dimension assesses individuals' orientation towards saving and care in spending money. Both these dimensions of financial literacy are particularly important for participation in financial markets, resilience in the face of difficulties and financial well-being.

The overall score relating to knowledge, which includes concepts such as inflation, simple and compound interest rates and risk diversification, has remained broadly stable compared with 2020 (from 3.9 to 3.7 on a scale from 0 to 7). There is an improvement in the understanding of inflation and its impact on households' purchasing power, partly due to the significant rise in inflation experienced in the last two years, together with many information and financial education activities set up by the Bank of Italy on this topic.

The survey has also assessed digital financial skills for the first time. Regarding this competence, the average score for Italians is 4.4 out of 10. Similar to what is observed for financial literacy, the scores are higher among those with higher education levels and in the age group between 35 and 64 years. In the overall score for digital finance, there is a gender gap that penalizes women.