Skip to Main Navigation

The Global Findex Database 2021


Chapter 1: Ownership of Accounts

Global Findex chapter 1 illustration of a couple holding cell phones and sticky notes on either side representing bar charts
From 2017 to 2021, the average rate of account ownership in developing economies increased by 8 percentage points, from 63 percent to 71 percent. In Sub-Saharan Africa, this was largely due to the adoption of mobile money. The gender gap in account ownership across developing economies also fell to 6 percentage points from 9 percentage points, where it had hovered for many years. Despite this progress, millions of people worldwide remain unbanked. A lack of money, distance to the nearest financial institution, and a lack of documentation are consistently cited by unbanked adults among the primary reasons why they do not have an account. Global efforts for inclusive access to identification and mobile phones could be used to increase account ownership for hard-to-reach populations.

Chapter 1 Interactive Executive Summary | Chapter 1 (.pdf) | Chapter Figures (.jpg) | Chapter Data (.xls)

Chapter 2: Use of Accounts

Global Findex Chapter 2 illustration of a person buying produce using cell phone
Data from the Global Findex 2021 survey finds growth in the use of accounts to make digital payments as well as to save, borrow, and engage in the broader financial ecosystem. Payments appear to be a catalyst for other financial services: the majority of adults who received a digital payment also made a digital payment, and were more likely than non-recipients to save, borrow, and store money. These findings suggest that digitalizing common payments such as government payments, wage payments from private employers, and payments from agricultural buyers, could facilitate financial inclusion for unbanked and underbanked adults. 

Chapter 2 Interactive Executive Summary | Chapter 2 (.pdf) | Chapter Figures (.jpg) | Chapter Data (.xls)

Chapter 3: Financial Resilience

Global Findex chapter 1 illustration of a crowd
Slightly more than half of adults in developing economies could access emergency money within 30 days without much difficulty. But women and the poor are less likely than men and richer individuals to successfully raise emergency money, and more likely to rely on friends and family—an unreliable source.  In contrast, people who save formally and use savings as their first-line source of money in an emergency, are most likely to get money when they need it.

In addition to the findings on resilience, the Global Findex 2021 also captured data on the degree of financial stress people feel about common expenses. Unsurprisingly, poor adults and women in developing countries are more likely to experience financial stress and to report that they would need help using financial services. This points to opportunities to encourage more effective use of resilience-enabling services such as savings, and to ensure that consumer protection policies account for the low level of financial literacy in unbanked and underbanked populations.

Chapter 3 Interactive Executive Summary | Chapter 3 (.pdf) | Chapter Figures (.jpg) | Chapter Data (.xls)


Additional Resources

Contact Us

Global Findex
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433 USA

Stay Connected