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 constructed 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 data come from a survey carried out by Gallup, Inc. as part of the annual Gallup World Poll. The survey covered at least 1,000 adults in each of 148 economies using randomly selected, nationally representative samples over the 2011 calendar year.
The reference citation for the Global Findex data is Asli Demirguc-Kunt and Leora Klapper, 2012. “Measuring Financial Inclusion: The Global Findex Database.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6025.