The Human Capital Index (HCI) for 2017 puts Serbia higher than the average for its region and income group, the World Bank announced today.
The new Human Capital Index, developed by the World Bank Group and launched today at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings, in Bali, measures how much countries lose in economic productivity by underinvesting in their people.
Serbia has an index of 0.76, Croatia 0.72, Slovenia 0.79, Albania, B&H and Montenegro 0.62 each, Macedonia 0.53, Kosovo 0.56, Greece and Bulgaria 0.68 each, Romania 0.60, and Hungary has an index of 0.70.
The USA also has an index of 0.76, Russia’s index is 0.73, and China has an index of 0.67.
Singapore has the largest index in the world at 0.88, followed by South Korea with 0.84 and Hong Kong with 0.82.
At the bottom of the list is Chad with 0.29, preceded by South Sudan with 0.30 and Mali with 0.32.
The World Bank says in the press release that human capital-the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives-has been a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and poverty reduction rates of many countries in the 20th century, especially East Asia.
– For the poorest people, human capital is often the only capital they have – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said and added that human capital was a key driver of sustainable, inclusive economic growth and that building it was critical for all countries, at all income levels, to compete in the economy of the future.
– This index creates a direct line between improving outcomes in health and education, productivity, and economic growth. I hope that it drives countries to take urgent action and invest more - and more effectively - in their people – Jim Yong Kim said.
The World Bank Group developed HCI for 157 countries to measure how human capital contributes to the productivity of the next generation of workers.
The HCI reflects the productivity as a future worker of a child born today, compared with what it could be if he or she had full health and complete, high-quality education.
Stephen Ndegwa, World Bank Country Manager for Serbia said that, although Serbia can be proud of those results, there was still a lot of space for further improvement.
– It is important not to fall into the trap of complacency since there is still a lot to be done. For example, the latest available PISA numbers show that 40% of students in Serbia are considered functionally innumerate in math and about 30% are functionally illiterate in reading – Ndegwa said.