About Global Findex
Access to financial services plays a critical part in development by facilitating economic growth and reducing income inequality. Inclusive financial systems allow poor people to smooth their consumption and insure themselves against the many economic vulnerabilities they face—from illness and accidents to theft and unemployment. Financial inclusion enables poor people to save and to borrow—allowing them to build their assets, to invest in education and entrepreneurial ventures, and thus to improve their livelihoods. Inclusive finance is especially likely to benefit disadvantaged groups such as women, youth, and rural communities. For all these reasons financial inclusion has gained prominence in recent years as a policy objective to improve the lives of the poor.
Recognizing the need for better data to support the financial inclusion agenda, the World Bank’s Development Research Group, with a 10-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has initiated the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) database. As the first public database of indicators that consistently measure people’s use of financial products across economies and over time, the Global Findex database fills a major gap in the financial inclusion data landscape. Covering a range of topics, the database can be used to track financial inclusion policies globally and develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how people around the world save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk.
The 2011 Global Findex database was released in April of 2012. The data, collected in partnership with the Gallup World Poll, are based on interviews with more than 150,000 nationally representative and randomly selected adults in 148 economies, covering over 97% of the world's adult population. The 2014 Global Findex database - based on another 150,000 interviews - will update the 2011 indicators and also include an extended module on payments, providing in-depth data on individuals’ payments activities related to domestic remittances, government-to-person transfers, wages, formal obligations, and mobile payments. The 2014 Global Findex database will be released in April of 2015.