The Human Capital Index published by the World Bank was launched in 2018 as part of the Human Capital Project. It compares the knowledge, skills and health that people accumulate over a lifetime and which contribute to long term economic growth and development.
The latest report is based on data accumulated before the advent of Covid-19. Although there had been substantial gains in human capital around the world over the last few years there still remained many obstacles to the full realisation of human potential and these may become more serious in the wake of the current crisis.
The methodology uses outcome-based criteria: survival until school age, the quantity and quality of education, and health, which is measured by adult survival rate and the rate of stunting among children under the age of five.
The top five countries for human capital are:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
The five countries with the lowest human capital are:
- Central Africa Republic
- South Sudan
Countries and regions that have improved significantly over time include Albania, the Macau Special Administrative Region, Russia, the Ivory Coast, and Azerbaijan. In contrast a number of European countries such as Greece, Bulgaria and Italy have experienced a decline in the index, mainly as a result of declining in test scores.