Published on Let's Talk Development

Announcing the launch of the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Microdata

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What percentage of Sub-Saharan women under age 30 with a formal account use a community-based group to save? The answer is 26 percent, but until today you would have had difficulty finding that statistic. Not anymore. Today, the Development Research Group is publishing the complete micro dataset of the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) dataset. This translates to over 150,000 individual-level observations, representing adults in 148 economies and 97 percent of the world’s adult population. Users can download the complete worldwide dataset, or datasets by country.

What can be gained from access to the Global Findex microdata? Well, the dataset includes indicators on accounts, payments, savings, credit, and risk-management – over 40 variables in all. And, for the first time, we’re releasing data on the self-reported barriers to account ownership (for example, 41 percent of unbanked adults in Bolivia cite high cost as a reason for not owning an account). The micro dataset also contains covariates on the gender, age, education level, and income of the respondents.

Access to the raw data (country-level data released in April) gives researchers, policy makers, and connoisseurs of financial inclusion the freedom to perform their own research, or just find a specific statistic, such as “What percent of account holders over age 65 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia report using their account to receive government payments?” (46%).

The data can also be merged with other World Bank datasets such as the Global Payment Systems Survey (GPSS) to facilitate a deeper understanding of how different financial behaviors and infrastructures fit together. For example, our new paper co-authored with Franklin Allen and Sole Martinez Peria uses the Global Findex microdata and GPSS data and finds that greater ownership and use of accounts (e.g. for savings) is associated with a better enabling environment for accessing financial services, such as lower banking costs. Furthermore, unbanked adults are less likely to report cost or distance as a barrier to account ownership in countries with lower costs of opening and maintaining an account.

We encourage you to view and download the data yourself through theGlobal Findex homepage or directly from the microdata catalogue.

The Global Findex data were collected by Gallup, Inc. using the Gallup World Poll Survey. The Research Group is building the database with a 10-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information see:
Asli Demirguc-Kunt and Leora Klapper, 2012, "Measuring Financial Inclusion: The Global Findex", World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6025.

Allen, Franklin, Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Leora Klapper, and Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, 2012, "The Foundations of Financial Inclusion: Understanding Ownership and Use of Formal Accounts", World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6290.


Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

Former Chief Economist, Europe and Central Asia Region

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