Children and youth make up 42% of the world population. 71 million young people are currently unemployed, and more than 152 million, primarily in emerging and developing countries, live in poverty. High levels of unemployment, combined with inadequate education and practical skills training, make it difficult for many young people to secure a sustainable livelihood. In terms of financial inclusion, the number of young adults (aged 15-24) with a bank account at a formal institution increased from 37% in 2011 to 46% in 2015, yet more than half of the global youth population remains excluded from the formal financial system. Only 18% actively save at a formal financial institution.

To achieve the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, harnessing the dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of youth will be key. The evidence base on the impacts of financial inclusion and education for children and youth continues to grow. With access to a safe place to save at an early age, young people can build an asset base which can protect them against economic shocks, fund their education, help them start a business and secure a sustainable livelihood for their future.  Today's children and youth represent the future client base for financial institutions and the next generation of economic drivers for national governments. While many financial institutions offer products to young clients, many barriers exist such as regulatory restrictions, know your client (KYC) requirements, low levels of financial literacy and lack of infrastructure to reach young clients.

Governments can help overcome these barriers by creating policies that allow financial service providers to attract young people into the formal financial system. Donors and investors can help by encouraging and supporting the development of sustainable business models for youth financial services. More research is also needed to provide reliable information that can spur the development of products and services tailored to this market. Advocacy, knowledge sharing, technical assistance, and monitoring and evaluation will remain central to the advancement of safe, appropriate and quality financial services for young people around the world.

What can you find in this Topic Hub?

Curated by FinDev editors, this Topic Hub offers you access to key resources contributed by organizations around the world who work on the topic of financial inclusion for youth and children. Our latest blogs and publications on this topic are featured here (in the Resources Tab above), and you can find a collection of papers, case studies and guides to explore further. When there are upcoming webinars, events and recent news on this topic, they will be featured in the Topic Hub as well, so make sure to come back regularly for the latest on this topic. Finally, we’ve selected some key additional resources, which are listed on the right here, where you can learn even more about this topic.

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This guide draws primarily from the lessons learned during the realization of a series of assessments on the state of youth financial inclusion in Uganda, Kenya, and Guatemala in 2019 and 2020.


This publication underlines the trends, core challenges, opportunities, innovative solutions and initiatives associated with agricultural financing for youth.


This brief assesses the responsibility of financial sector actors in eliminating child labor in the cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire.

News & Events

The latest news and upcoming events and training from the global financial inclusion community on this topic.