Skip Navigation

Financial Literacy: School Poverty Indicator


Proficiency Levels

Excel File Excel Download

Table FL11. Percentage distribution of U.S. 15-year-old public school students on the PISA financial literacy scale, by proficiency level and percentage of students in enrolled schools eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, based on principals' reports: 2015
                                       
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—United States Below level 2   Level 2   Level 3   Level 4   Level 5
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
U.S. average 21.6   1.27   23.3   0.91   25.7   1.07   19.2   0.93   10.2 ** 0.74
Less than 10 percent 6.6 !* 2.19   15.9 *** 3.58   26.6   4.97   27.5   4.52   23.4 * 4.63
10 to 24.9 percent 9.5 * 1.66   15.0 * 1.93   26.6   3.10   27.8 * 3.01   21.1 * 2.47
25 to 49.9 percent 14.3 * 1.37   21.0   1.47   27.9   1.95   23.6 * 1.59   13.2 *** 1.58
50 to 74.9 percent 25.6 *** 2.09   26.0 ** 1.60   25.9   1.46   15.8 *** 1.71   6.7 * 1.01
75 percent or more 38.0 * 3.14   27.7 * 1.95   20.9 * 1.82   10.2 * 1.26   3.2 * 0.80
OECD average 22.3   0.36   21.8   0.27   24.9   0.28   19.2   0.27   11.8 *** 0.24
                                       
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—Massachusetts Below level 2   Level 2   Level 3   Level 4   Level 5
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
Massachusetts average 12.1 * 1.72   18.7 * 1.48   27.6   1.51   25.6 * 1.65   16.0 * 1.96
U.S. average 21.6   1.27   23.3   0.91   25.7   1.07   19.2   0.93   10.2 ** 0.74
Less than 10 percent 1.9 !* 0.85   10.3 * 2.49   26.7   3.47   32.0 * 3.45   29.1 * 3.61
10 to 24.9 percent 6.1 * 1.79   15.5 * 2.36   28.3   2.98   29.9 * 3.39   20.2 * 3.51
25 to 49.9 percent 13.3 * 2.18   20.8   2.98   29.4   3.34   24.0   3.18   12.6   2.54
50 to 74.9 percent 16.9 ** 2.38   21.4   2.89   28.5   3.41   23.5   3.01   9.7   2.25
75 percent or more 27.5   7.51   27.7   4.37   23.6   3.98   15.1 ! 4.63    
OECD average 22.3   0.36   21.8   0.27   24.9   0.28   19.2   0.27   11.8 *** 0.24
                                       
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—North Carolina Below level 2   Level 2   Level 3   Level 4   Level 5
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
North Carolina average 18.7 ** 1.61   23.7   1.47   25.9   1.36   20.4   1.53   11.3   1.24
U.S. average 21.6   1.27   23.3   0.91   25.7   1.07   19.2   0.93   10.2 ** 0.74
Less than 10 percent     15.9 ! 5.25   28.2   4.41   29.3   7.14    
10 to 24.9 percent 6.9 * 1.50   13.7 * 3.19   26.5   4.13   31.8 * 3.92   21.0 * 3.57
25 to 49.9 percent 15.5 * 1.69   22.6   1.92   27.3   1.72   22.8   2.39   11.8   1.74
50 to 74.9 percent 24.4   2.67   28.2 ** 2.43   24.6   2.32   14.8 ** 2.17   8.0 ** 1.69
75 percent or more 38.8 * 4.28   31.6 * 3.56   21.1   3.31   6.2 !* 2.78    
OECD average 22.3   0.36   21.8   0.27   24.9   0.28   19.2   0.27   11.8 *** 0.24
† Not applicable.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation (>30 percent and ≤50 percent).
‡ Reporting standards not met due to coefficient of variation over 50 percent.
* p<.05. Significantly different from both the U.S. and OECD averages at the05 level of statistical significance.
** p<.05. Significantly different from the OECD average at the05 level of statistical significance.
*** p<.05. Significantly different from the U.S. average at the05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into financial literacy levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: below level 2 (a score less than 400); level 2 (a score of 400 and less than 475); level 3 (a score of 475 and less than 550); level 4 (a score of 550 and less than 625); and level 5 (a score greater or equal to 625). Proficiency level 1 and below is shown as below level 2 in this table to provide consistency across data tables. Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. The National School Lunch Program provides free or reduced-price lunch for students meeting certain income guidelines. The percentage of students receiving such lunch is an indicator of the socioeconomic level of families served by the school. Data in this table are based on principals' responses to a question in the school questionnaire that asked the approximate percentage of eligible students in the school during the previous school year. Free or reduced price-lunch data are for public schools only. The OECD average is the average of the national percentages of the 10 OECD member countries that participated in the financial literacy assessment, with each system weighted equally. Standard error is noted by s.e. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2015.