Roughly two-thirds of all adults worldwide have a bank account. This is a simple, headline-grabbing finding based on a review of the Global Findex database published by the World Bank. Underlying geographic differences transcend a simple West - developing world divide. Other distinctions, including gender, income, and education, only widen the difference as well. Here are just a few examples of these disparities:
World RegionDeveloping countries in East Asia & the Pacific have pushed ahead of those in other regions to achieve the highest share of the adult population (70.4%) with access to a bank account. Africa - facing an anticipated population boom - remains the region with the greatest disparity between countries in terms of share of the adult population with a bank account. On average, 68.4 percent of South Asian's have a bank account compared to 28.2 percent in neighboring Zimbabwe and only 9.5 percent in Niger.
Income. On average, the share of the low-income population with access to a bank account changed from 13 percent in 2011 to 24 percent in 2014, with wide differences existing within regions and countries. For example, while Indonesia made large gains in account access between 2011 and 2017, by 2017 only 36 percent of the poorest 40% of the population had a bank account whereas 57 percent of the wealthiest 60% had an account.
Education. Indonesia is illustrative of the continuing education gap as well. In 2017, the share of the population with a secondary education or more that had a bank account (62%) was nearly twice greater than the population with a primary education or less (34%).
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