Lessons learned: Youth Access to Rural Finance
Although there have been improvements in YFS access, youth are still lagging significantly behind adults in being able to access financial tools. Across high- and low-income countries, young people are less likely than adults to have a formal account. There are even starker differences related to a country’s income level, with 21 per cent of youth in low-income economies having a formal account compared with 61 per cent in upper-middle-income economies (Demirguc-Kunt et al., 2013). Even with this data, determining the exact extent of youth access to financial services can be complicated because there is a lack of consistent data and definitions on youth (see Box 3). The lack of data is more limited for rural areas. While there is some analysis of the urban-rural gap in access to financial services, with those living in cities significantly more likely to have an account than rural residents (Klapper, 2012), there are currently no comprehensive studies with disaggregated data for rural youth.