International Women’s Day: Mapping Financial Inequality by Gender


“For International Women’s Day 2022, CARTO uses location intelligence to analyze financial inequality between gender in different countries. "

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International Women’s Day: Mapping Financial Inequality by Gender

“Imagine a gender equal world.”

That’s the first thing you read on

To reach that world  we need to know the inequalities women face  and where they face them. There’s no better way of understanding “where” than with a map.

For International Women’s Day 2022  we analyze access to financial services across the globe  by gender.

Our map visualizations  developed using the CARTO Builder tool  outline how financial inequality affects women around the world. The maps show the notable differences between women and men for several financial indicators  including receiving a wage or having a bank account. Whilst global financial inclusion is improving (World Bank  2017)  there are still strides to be made to reach full gender equality.

Mapping Financial Inequality

These visualizations were created using our cloud native Location Intelligence platform  a web-based location analytics and visualization platform. The map is based on Natural Earth data (which CARTO users can access free of charge from our Spatial Data Catalog) which we populated with data from the World Bank Global Findex.

World Bank Global Findex

This map is based on data from the World Bank: the Global Findex. We have picked out ten indicators from this dataset that show how women aged over 15 in 165 countries experience financial inequality. For each indicator  we took the most recent year of available data ranging from between 2011 and 2017. The ten indicators are the percentage of women who:

World Bank Global Findex icons

We’ll now run through each of these indicators in turn  drawing out the key insights you should take from each.

Financial Gender Inequality Insights

Yellow areas show where there is less than 1 percentage point (pp) difference between the men and women accessing a service. Redder areas show where more men access the services  and greener areas show where more women do.

Received a wage

The definition of “received a wage” from the World Bank is the percentage of people who “received any money from an employer in the past 12 months in the form of a salary or wages for doing work. This does not include any money received directly from clients or customers  male (% age 15+).”The highest inequality between genders under this definition is experienced in Egypt  with a difference of 39.56pp between men and women. 48.69% of men report earning a wage  whilst only 9.13% of women do. This is the largest difference between men and women in any country across any of the ten indicators.This is one of the indicators where inequality is most prevalent across the globe. Only 9 of the 165 countries included in this dataset have a difference of less than 1pp between genders  and in only three do more women earn a wage than men which are all in Europe (Switzerland  Poland and Germany).

Had access to a bank account

Having a bank account is an important element of a person’s financial independence. It allows individuals to control their ingoings and outgoing and be more confident about their financial security.Whilst it may look like there is a lot of “yellow” on this map  there are in fact only 28 countries where there is less than 1pp difference between the percentage of men and women who have a bank account. This is relatively high compared to many of the other indicators  but still only a fraction of the 165 countries included in this data. The country where this inequality is highest is Jordan  with 29.67pp difference between the genders (56.28% of men have a bank account  whilst only 26.61% of women do).

Owned a debit card

Explore the map here

Unlike some of the other indicators  it’s difficult to make sweeping geographical interpretations of this indicator as there are not many clear geographic trends. For example  regions and bordering countries do not typically exhibit similar levels of inequality. The exception to this is the regions of Oceania and Australasia where in general more women own a debit card than men.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Owned a credit card

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There are some interesting differences between credit card and debit card ownership. Some of the countries where more women than men have a debit card see this reversed for credit card ownership  such as Argentina  Australia  Norway and Finland. Another interesting insight is that some of the European countries which have typically fared better with other indicators - such as Norway  Finland  Denmark and Germany - all exhibit higher inequality here.

Borrowed money for medical purposes

This indicator is one where men and women have greater equality. In 58 countries there is less than 1pp difference between the number of men and women who have borrowed money for medical purposes  which is by far the largest number across all indicators. There are no countries where the difference between men and women borrowing for medical purposes exceeds 10pp. Of course  borrowing money for medical purposes is not necessarily a positive thing.

Made savings in the last year

Generally the trend in this data is that more men have made savings over the last year. This is particularly the case of the Americas (with inequality peaking at 17.9pp in Mexico)  as well as Africa and Asia. There are  however  some interesting spatial outliers in this data where women are more likely to have saved money than men  despite being located in regions where the reverse is typically true. Examples of this include Yemen  the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal.

Saved money specifically for old age

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Whilst inequality is still prevalent for this indicator  it is relatively lower than for some of the other indicators.

31 countries exhibit less than 1pp of difference between the percentage of women and men who have made savings specifically for old age. There are also 21 countries where more women have made savings than men  which is high compared to other indicators but low compared to the 107 countries where more men have made savings.

Inequality is high across the Americas  reflecting the picture of the previous indicator where more men had made savings than women in general.

Have a housing loan

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This is the indicator for which the number of countries not exhibiting inequality is highest. There are 41 countries where there is less than onepp of difference between the number of men and women with a housing loan. However there are still 105 countries where more men have a housing loan than women  peaking in Saudi Arabia where 17.74pp more men than women have a housing loan.

Were able to access emergency funds

The definition of this indicator is the percentage of respondents for who “in case of an emergency it is possible for them to come up with 1/20 of gross national income (GNI) per capita in local currency within the next month.”

The greatest difference between men and women for this indicator is Afghanisatan  where the difference between the number of men and women able to access emergency funds is 39.54pp. After Egypt for the indicator “received a wage”  this is the second greatest difference of any country for any indicator.Aside from 11 outliers where more women have been able to access emergency funds than men - notably in Europe - inequality across this indicator is high. There are only 10 countries where there is less than 1pp difference between the number of men and women able to access emergency funds.

Sent or received a digital payment

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One of the interesting insights from this map is how there is little difference between the number of men and women making/receiving digital payments in Southeast Asia and Oceania  with the notable exception of Malaysia. Fewer women have made/recieved digital payments across much of Africa and Asia  peaking in Saudi Arabia where the difference is 31.76pp.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash


Across all but 1 of the 10 financial equality indicators  in the majority of countries more men typically use each “service” than women. The exception to this is the “borrowed for medical purposes” indicator  where more countries either have little difference in the number of men/women borrowing or have more women. In the “gender equal world” that International Women’s Day tells us to imagine  it’s clear that much of the world still has a long way to go.


Data - and particularly spatial data - are such a fundamental way of helping people to understand the different experiences we all have across the globe. Maps are not only an incredible tool in helping us to analyze and understand this data  but a powerful way to have people engage with the stories it tells.CARTO users can benefit from a wide range of data to help them understand equality  equity and the challenges surrounding these. Our Spatial Data Catalog includes detailed data on demographics and finances  such as our Mastercard Geographic Insights dataset which includes information on transaction size  count and frequency.

CARTO Grants

At CARTO we believe that maps and data have the power to change the way we understand our world. Are you a small nonprofit looking to change the world using location intelligence? You may be eligible for a CARTO grant! Current grantees are using CARTO to map out fairtrade coffee farms  eviction rates and Covid-19 hospitalization rates. Find out more about our grant scheme here.

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EU Flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 960401.