Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index Reveals Important Relationship Between Understanding Personal Finances and Hope, Engagement, and Wellbeing in American Students

April, 2011


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Results provide policymakers and educators with a deeper 
understanding of the impact of financial literacy

New York -- April 14, 2011 -- Announced today at the NYSE Euronext in New York City, global researched-based consulting firm Gallup and financial literacy empowerment nonprofit leader Operation HOPE, (HOPE) unveiled the findings of the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index (GOHFLI). This first-of-its-kind index measures a youth's understanding of basic financial matters and how that understanding relates to his or her hope for the future, engagement with school, and wellbeing and ultimately, to the prosperity of the nation. Results from the study can be found here.

Gallup annually measures hope, engagement, and wellbeing among American students nationwide in grades 5 through 12 via the Gallup Student Poll. Key financial literacy questions included in the survey reveal the importance of understanding financial fundamentals by students could strengthen U.S. schools. The findings will aid policymakers and educators in understanding the value of financial literacy education and help them pinpoint where improvements are needed and where future initiatives should be targeted.

HOPE and Gallup understand that America's youth are the future workforce and business builders of the nation. Their economic success goes hand in hand with America's ability to realize its economic potential. The initial GOHFLI results demonstrate that the hypothesized link between student success outcomes and financial literacy is a strong one and leaders must work to strengthen all the elements of a student's success: hope, engagement, wellbeing, and financial literacy.

Ten additional questions were added to the Gallup Student Poll in October 2010 that specifically helped researchers determine levels of financial literacy. A convenience sample of approximately 70,000 U.S. students in grades 5 through 12 in 35 states participated in the GOHFLI portion of the survey. Findings and analysis revealed the following:

Key Results:
  • Hopeful students are approximately 4 times more likely to qualify as financially literate than discouraged students 
  • Engaged students are approximately 4 times more likely to qualify as financially literate than actively disengaged students
  • Thriving students are approximately 4 times more likely to qualify as financially literate than suffering students

Social Scientific Conclusions:

 Researchers found there is a relationship between hope, engagement, and wellbeing and financial literacy as measured by the GOHFLI.

With the GOHFLI, Gallup and HOPE provide an important measure to inform educators, parents, and policymakers about how to prepare our kids and our nation for a prosperous and thriving future.

HOPE has developed an innovative program that schools and educators can use to strengthen financial literacy among students. Influenced by Gilbert's Behavioral Engineering Model and the Theory of Transformative Learning, HOPE will implement a systematic approach to building financial literacy, which includes involvement and support from students, school administrators, policymakers, and leaders from the business sector. The programs will require a behavior shift that for some will be a transformative shift. For individuals it will focus on:

  • Knowledge - teaching the economic system
  • Capability - provide opportunities to allow simulation and exercise of new skills
  • Motivation - strengthening their interests in the future

For change in the (environment), the program will focus on:

  • Knowledge - offering real numbers to demonstrate the current state of students and create the link between student improvement programs and real success based on Human Performance Technology
  • Capability - support a student's growth toward stronger economic knowledge, practices, and interests
  • Motivation - develop reward consequences models associated with healthy economic behavior that relate to today's youth

This program has been met with high interest from several federal agencies. With the help of the Department of Education among other federal agencies, HOPE is excited about institutionalizing the concepts of financial literacy during the formative years of education to become the difference-maker for our economic future.


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. 
Founded in 1992, social empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE's mission is to expand economic opportunity in under-resourced communities through financial literacy education. HOPE promotes "silver rights" - making free enterprise and capitalism relevant and effective for the underserved. Raising more than $500 million and directing and restructuring nearly $500 million more in mortgages and economic support from the private sector, for a total of approximately $1 billion dollars in economic activity, HOPE seeks dignity and empowerment for all. Follow Operation HOPE at,, and

For more about the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index visit


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