Initial research from the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index field testing released


Los Angeles – October 19, 2010 – Research leader Gallup and financial literacy empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE), announced the initial findings of the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index (GOHFLI) which measures a youth’s understanding of basic financial matters and how that awareness translates into an overall sense of hope, engagement and wellbeing. The Gallup-HOPE partnership is researching the hypothesized link between student success outcomes and financial literacy.

Initial findings established that:

•    1/3 of American students do not believe in the American Dream

•    Among the 2/3 of students who believe in the American Dream:

  • 66% of students strongly believe that they will go to college in the future AND buy their own home
  • 57% of American students believe that their parents are saving money for their future
  • 60% of American students strongly agree with “The more education I get, the more money I will make”
  • Students who are hopeful about the future are more likely to be financially literate

Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton and Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant were encouraged by the results and noted that the findings demonstrate an extreme need for financial literacy interventions at all levels of education. Jim Clifton stated, "A financially literate youth with a dream will be more hopeful and kids who are more hopeful will be more engaged in life, which could lead to less kids dropping out of high school and more kids pursuing their dreams. This kind of change in our youth is paramount in the 21st century where kids in India and China are already obsessed with education as a pathway to success."

With these metrics, Gallup and HOPE aim to empower school systems and organizations with the data needed to develop effective financial literacy programs to prepare youth to pro-actively participate in building a viable economic future for themselves, their families, and their communities. Additionally, the metrics will be leveraged among organizations that provide financial literacy to quantitatively measure their effectiveness. 

“I believe our kids are dropping out of high school because they don't believe education is relevant to their futures,” said Bryant. “How do we make education relevant? Show kids how to prosper, succeed, or even get rich if that is part of their dream. Financial literacy or what we call ‘the language of money,’ is a practical and tangible lesson that can empower youth to plan for their futures today.” 

Guided by the GOHFLI Advisory Board, Gallup scientists developed an initial set of 51 index questions which were field tested in the summer. Once analysis was complete, a final list of 18 questions was selected to be included in the GOHFLI index to be included in a nationwide poll to be conducted throughout October with over 500,000 students across the country.

The findings come from a Gallup Student Poll survey that was conducted with Gallup Panel Members from June 11 through July 6, 2010 among 642 students between the ages of 10 and 18 participating in the mail and web-based survey. The Panel is representative of randomly selected U.S. households and is weighted so that it is demographically representative of the U.S. youth population. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points. 

The next step for the financial literacy index includes recruiting focus cities for fall Gallup Student Poll participation and for possible subsequent implementation of HOPE programming. Once the first phase of the research is concluded, Gallup and HOPE will create a five-year strategic plan and roll out the entire index to the top 50 cities in the country. 

This historic agreement between HOPE and Gallup reinforces the larger framework established by HOPE and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) in June 2009, signed during the HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit. That agreement solidified FSR’s commitment to work with HOPE in providing financial literacy education and support over the next five years. FSR is an organization that represents the largest financial services institutions in the United States.


About Gallup
Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 75 years. Its reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. Gallup consultants help organizations boost organic growth by increasing customer engagement and maximizing employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University's campuses, and in more than 40 offices around the world.

About Operation HOPE, Inc. 
For over 18 years, Operation HOPE has been America's leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 1500 nonprofit organizations and schools and 100 government partners in 70 major U.S. cities as well as South Africa, HOPE has raised almost $900 million in economic activity for the disenfranchised in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. Through international initiatives and its core programs, Operation HOPE has delivered services to more than 1.2 million low-wealth individuals and has shouldered the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. To learn more about HOPE, or read our blog at

Initial research from the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index field testing released

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