- Nearly half of regional Australians report high or overwhelming financial stress and 34% often cannot afford to dine out or go to movies
- The report also highlights a concerning lack of financial literacy among Australians, with only 1 in 5 people able to correctly answer 3 basic financial literacy questions
A new report on financial wellbeing has found if you live in a regional area your level of financial wellbeing is significantly lower than in big cities in Australia, raising concerns about regional areas being left behind.
The report, “Mind the Gap: The Divide in Financial Wellness Across Australia”, found there’s a city and country divide with a significant disparity in income levels, education and financial wellbeing.
Analytics and technology company Your Financial Wellness commissioned the analysis using its own research and Census data.
CEO Alex Hassall said the research found nearly half of regional Australians are experiencing high or overwhelming financial stress.
“Our research shows a stark divide between city dwellers and Australians in regional and rural areas.
“We see greater levels of education, higher wages and more employment opportunities in the big cities.
“While many regional areas are booming, these results are an opportunity to do better.
“We know that the higher the levels of financial literacy in regional centres, the greater financial wellbeing.
“Programs for regional Australians to improve their financial literacy is something that will deliver life long benefits, improved financial capability and will boost local communities.”
The Your Financial Wellness research found:
- Nearly half of regional Australians report high or overwhelming financial stress and 34% often cannot afford to dine out or go to movies;
- The regions have an average wellness score of 5.3 out of ten, compared to big city residents with 6;
- Canberra has highest wellness score at 6.5 out of ten, while the lowest major city was Sydney at 5.6;
- The proportion of adults with a tertiary education was National 24%, Metro 28%, Regional 15%, with Canberra at a stunning 38%;
- There’s a concerning lack of financial literacy among Australians, with little more than 1 in 5 people able to correctly answer 3 basic financial literacy questions.
“Your Financial Wellness sees an opportunity for government to take this report and better promote financial literacy, so all Australians benefit and the city/regional divide is addressed.
“Your Financial Wellness sees the role of caring financial institutions to help their customers and lift the level of financial literacy in Australia.
“Our report found that less than 30% of people could answer three financial literacy questions correctly, underlying a significant challenge for policymakers.
“We are honoured to partner with financial institutions, including in regional Australia and in the big cities, working collaboratively on this challenge.”
The Your Financial Wellness platform collects data from thousands of Australians through partnered financial institutions, providing financial tips and assessments of financial goals, literacy, and status, including a unique financial wellness score that comes from measuring a range of underlying factors.