New Report Offers Insights into How Young People Save in Developing Countries

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A new project from the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis shows, among other findings, that girls in developing countries, given equal opportunities, will save as much or more in formal financial institutions than boys.

The project was aimed at examining the attitudes and practices of young people in developing economies toward saving money. It has led to new findings that confirm and challenge assumptions about youth saving at formal financial institutions.

The study was conducted by YouthSave, an international development consortium led by Save the Children in partnership with the CSD, the New America Foundation, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and The MasterCard Foundation, a founding partner of the YouthSave consortium.

The study demonstrates that, under the right conditions, younger youth will save more than older youth and that parental involvement in supporting their children’s saving is an important factor in determining who saves money, how much and how often.

The report released this month, Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal, outlines findings from a study of the largest known dataset on how teens in developing countries save money. Under this project, more than 117,000 youth in the four countries opened savings accounts. Of these young people, almost 70,000 agreed to take part in the research study; about 48 percent of them were youth estimated to be living at or below $2.50 per day.

The data enabled CSD, YouthSave’s lead research partner, to detail who is saving and to identify factors linked with savings patterns. This information is critical for practitioners and policymakers who want to increase youth financial inclusion, those interested in innovative development strategies, and financial institutions seeking to expand into this market segment.

Source: Washington University (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion