The World Economic Forum in collaboration with Mercer has published the “Human Capital Report 2013”. The study measures how countries are developing and deploying their most precious resource by encompassing aspects of education, health, the workforce and the enabling environment. It covers 122 countries.
While there is a strong correlation between national income and human capital, there are also variations within each income category and unique experiences that can serve in part as examples within income groups.
Among the lowest income countries – those with around US$ 1,000 per capita income – countries like Kenya and the Kyrgyz Republic perform far ahead of countries such as Malawi or Burkina Faso. Among lower middle income countries – those with US$ 1,000 to 4,000 per capita income – Nigeria, Pakistan and Egypt rank low, while others such as Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Indonesia rank higher. Among upper middle income countries – those with US$ 4,000 to 12,000 per capita income – countries such as Malaysia, Costa Rica and China outstrip South Africa, Venezuela and Algeria.
Among the high income countries – those with US$ 12,000 per capita income and above – the variations are the greatest. There are strong performers such as the Nordic countries and Singapore. There are countries such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates that are hubs for skilled and unskilled talent and rank in the upper half of this group. And then there are countries like Russia, Greece and Kuwait that fall near the bottom.
For the individual, as well as for societies as a whole, investing in human capital is critical. Countries that invest in human capital prosper. Growth and higher income lead to increased capacity to further invest in human capital – and a virtuous cycle is created. Understanding this – and investing on this basis – has been critical to the fortunes of many societies – and will continue to be a key factor for the stability and affluence of nations and their populations.
For more information read the report here.