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Migrants and self-reported financial literacy: Insights from a case study of newly arrived CALD migrants

Segu Zuhair (College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Guneratne Wickremasinghe (College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Riccardo Natoli (Financial Education Research Unit, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 13 April 2015




The issue of migrant financial literacy remains largely unresolved despite the increasing focus on financial literacy in general. The purpose of this paper is to provide a migrant-based approach to provide a snapshot of the self-reported levels of financial literacy specifically for a group of newly arrived culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrants.


A questionnaire is employed to explore the financial literacy of selected migrant groups representing the regions of Africa, Asia and Europe.


The findings reveal that: migrants are eager to seek further information to assist with their financial decision making; better access and utilisation of basic financial services seems to be an area where improvement is required; and self-reported financial literacy levels are influenced by education levels.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research targets newly arrived CALD migrants, no claims can be made regarding the representation of CALD migrants as a whole. The research has implications with respect to the development of a more adequate provision of avenues for CALD migrants to utilise basic financial services. This paper provides recommendations for future research in this area.


A migrant’s financial literacy is typically based on a “one-size-fits-all” questionnaire, which only provides a broad examination of financial literacy aspects. This study addresses this gap by undertaking a case study focused solely on newly arrived migrants.



The authors would like to thank Victoria University for the financial support provided for this project under the VU Research Development Grant Scheme.


Zuhair, S., Wickremasinghe, G. and Natoli, R. (2015), "Migrants and self-reported financial literacy: Insights from a case study of newly arrived CALD migrants", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 368-386.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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