Good news and bad news about Georgia’s financial literacy

First, the good news: Georgia is not among the 10 least financially literate states.

Now, the bad news: We’re not in the top 10, either.

The report, by WalletHub, gave the state an overall ranking of 36. It came in at No. 43 for planning and daily habits.

The ranking of the 2016 most and least financially literate states is just in time for National Financial Literacy Month in April.

WalletHub, a free-credit-score website, analyzed financial education programs and consumer habits in each state and the District of Columbia. The data used was culled from such things as the percentage of residents with a rainy-day fund and Champlain University’s High School Financial Literacy Grades.

The most states with the most financially-savvy consumers are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Maine, Florida, Utah, New York and Virginia.

The lowest performing states are Rhode Island, Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nevada , Alaska and the District of Columbia.

There’s more.

Mississippi has the highest percentage of “unbanked” households, 14.5 percent, which is eight times higher than in Alaska, where it is lowest at 1.9 percent.

There is a 43 percent correlation between a state’s financial literacy and its credit score. That means the states with the highest financial literacy tend to have also the highest credit score.

It seems that a lot of us were not paying attention during the recession.

Since the beginning of 2012, Americans have racked up $153 billion in new credit-card debt and only two in five adults actually have a budget, according to the report.


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