Date of Conferral







Steven Tippins


Financial literacy is a national problem; many studies confirmed that Americans have low levels of financial literacy. There is little to no research about financial literacy in Appalachia, and the level of financial literacy was unknown for Appalachian Kentucky. There is a problem deserving attention which can be seen by examination of the 3 key financial indicators. Many researchers found the Appalachian Kentucky region deficient regarding poverty rates, unemployment rates, and personal income rates. The purpose of this study was to develop a baseline level of financial literacy of Appalachian Kentuckians and to compare it to national levels. Becker's theory of human capital served as the theoretical framework of this study. The research questions asked the difference between the levels of financial literacy of Appalachian Kentuckians and Americans. A survey design was used to collect data from residents in an Appalachian Kentucky county (n = 35) that was mathematically average based on the key financial indicators as reported by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The national financial literacy rate was derived from the National Financial Capability Study. A one-sample t test indicated that the financial literacy level of Appalachian Kentuckians is less than the national level. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that financial literacy levels can be predicted either by personal income or poverty. This study offers positive social change by providing a baseline understanding of financial literacy in Appalachian Kentucky to draw more attention to the improvement needs in this area. Improving financial literacy has the potential to improve key financial indicators of the region, and thus, the lives of Appalachian Kentuckians.