Comparative Study of Financial Literacy and Socio-demographic Factors in Sibu, Sarawak
Elevating the level of financial literacy in Malaysia stands as a pivotal objective of the National Strategy, given the considerable proportion of Malaysians who continue to identify as financially illiterate. This trend is compounded by the mounting incidence of bankruptcy among the younger demographic. The present research aims to scrutinise the significant differences that establish among the degrees of financial literacy and socio-demographic variables within the adult population of Sibu, Sarawak. This study adopted a quantitative methodology, employing the technique of convenience sampling. A total of 152 questionnaires were gathered through both online surveys via Google Forms and face-to-face distribution. An adapted performance assessment was employed to aid the respondents in gauging their level of financial knowledge and skills. The results of one-way ANOVA analysis suggest that individuals who conform to specific socio-demographic profiles exhibit a greater degree of financial literacy. These aforementioned profiles were characterised by their female gender, middle-aged group (between 40 to 49 years old), marital status, possession of advanced academic degrees (either master or doctorate), employment in private sector, and middle-range income earners (RM6001-RM9000). There were statistically significant differences between the mean financial skills of various age, education, occupation, marital status, and income level groups. The limitation of this research is the small size of the study sample. Future study may as well explore and incorporate new variables to delve into deeper insights of the underlying causes of financial illiteracy. In order to promote financial literacy and fraud detection, the results may be used to assist the regulators (such as the Central Bank of Malaysia and the Security Commission Malaysia) and Malaysian Financial Planning Council in developing more effective policies and educational programmes that are tailored for various groups with different socio-demographic characteristics.
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