Technical Report: Age, Gender, and Financial Inclusion in Zambia

  • Date Posted: June 12, 2018
  • Authors: Marketlinks Team
  • Document Types: Evidence or Research
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency


Two young female students in Zambia using calculators in a classroom.
Photo: Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ)

This report was published by Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) and was prepared by Tia Linda Zuze and Jasper Hatwiinda. 

The aim of this study was to understand Zambia’s age and gender-based differences in financial inclusion. To address this question, we used the 2009 and 2015 Zambia FinScope data together with the 2015 Zambia Financial Diaries. Our results show promising improvements in the uptake of financial services among young Zambians. This is a trend that needs to continue into the future. Uptake of mobile services was most common among Zambians aged 25 to 35. Zambians aged between 25 and 65 were most likely to use pension services. Awareness about insurance products was high among young Zambians although usage was low. On the other hand, there has been little improvement in financial inclusion among Zambians aged 66 and older. Older Zambians are less likely to take advantage of the expanding mobile banking network. Lack of financial planning among elderly respondents is particularly worrying. Zambian women tend to use informal services more often than men even when age and other background characteristics are taken into account. Formal inclusion and the uptake of mobile services clearly favor Zambian men. We further discuss policy implications and relate the findings to FSDZ’s efforts to promote financial inclusion in Zambia.

This report provides insights into age-based differences in financial inclusion in Zambia. The results presented in this report are based on FinScope 2009 and 2015 data as well as the cross-sectional module of the 2015 Zambia Financial Diaries study. Although current FSDZ datasets do not focus specifically on Zambians below the age of 16, analyzing financial inclusion for Zambians of different ages remains useful in understanding the relative influence of age on financial behavior. Emphasis is placed on financial behavior among young Zambians, but many of the results for older Zambians are equally important to guide policy. The results reported here will be used to inform further FSDZ work and research aimed at expanding access among Zambians who are underserved by financial markets. It will also provide useful information for policymakers, partner organizations and financial service providers with interest in this area.