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Gauging the State of Financial Capability in the U.S.

FINRA Foundation National Financial Capability Study (NFCS)

Adults in the United States must grapple with a bewildering variety of financial decisions—ranging from choosing a bank and managing debt to planning for retirement and purchasing insurance. This complex set of challenges requires a combination of skills, judgment, and resources. Even the simplest of these decisions require at least some basic financial knowledge and competency, while the more complicated decisions are challenging even for experts.

The FINRA Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) provides important insights into the financial capability of U.S. adults—including financial knowledge, resources, access, experience, and attitudes—to help decision makers at all levels understand the financial circumstances and needs of households in communities around the country. The NFCS was initiated in 2009 as the first national study of the financial capability of adults in the United States and is collected every three years, deepening the exploration of timely topics with each new wave.

Americans share their experiences with money

2021 NFCS Highlights
US MapExplore key insights into Americans’ financial capability revealed in the latest wave of the National Financial Capability Study.
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Using the NFCS Data
Group of people using data @istockphoto.comAccess NFCS datasets, questionnaires, and methodological documents, and learn how to maximize use of the data through a variety of tools and training resources.
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Financial Capability Insights: What the NFCS Reveals
Group of people @istockphoto.comRead a series of briefs based on NFCS data exploring different aspects of financial capability and how these vary across different populations in the U.S.
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About the NFCS
Group of people talking @istockphoto.comLearn how the NFCS has expanded from 2009 to today, including the different surveys and respondent samples.
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Explore the 2021 NFCS Through Interactive Web Visualizations

Delve into the 2021 NFCS highlights. Learn more >>

See how financial capability varies by U.S. state. Read more >>

Learn more about investors. Explore the data >>

Test Your Knowledge

See how your financial and investing knowledge stacks up nationally and against others in your state

Take the Financial Literacy Quiz >>

Take the Investing Knowledge Quiz >>

Download the 2021 NFCS Report

Download PDF >>

Download the 2021 NFCS Investor Report

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Interested in the Data?

Explore NFCS datasets, questionnaires, and data publications. Learn More >>

Contact Us

Media Inquiries
Ray Pellecchia
Media Relations and Corporate Communications

Research questions? Contact the Foundation's Gary Mottola or Olivia Valdes.