One of the strongest predictors of a nation’s long-term economic success is its human capital: The skills, knowledge and experience within people, put to productive use. The World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Index 2015 compares countries on how they are developing and leveraging their human capital. Countries are measured on their ability to provide education, skills and employment to people throughout their lives. Other factors, such as the quality of their infrastructure and the potential for social mobility, as well as the mental and physical health of their population, are also considered. The aim of the Human Capital Index is to raise awareness of the factors that contribute to a healthy and productive workforce, so that stakeholders such as governments, educational institutions and businesses are better able to tap into their nation’s latent human capital, for a more successful society and economy.
The Index covers 124 countries and evaluates them on four distinct pillars, namely: Education; Workforce & Employment; Health & Wellness; and Enabling environment. Finland leads this year’s Index, having “developed and deployed” 86% of its human capital potential. Closely following it are Norway and Switzerland. All three top nations benefit from high quality education systems and high attainment rates of tertiary education. A total of 14 countries have crossed the 80% human capital optimisation threshold, while 9 countries remain below 50%. Even in advanced nations, the Index suggests much room for improvement.