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Singapore ranks 13th globally in human capital

28 Sep 2018

In the first scientific study ranking countries based on human capital, Singapore came in 13th in the world out of 195 countries and territories in 2016, up from 43rd place in 1990.

Recently published in The Lancet, the study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation looked at expected human capital: the number of years of peak productivity for workers between 20 to 64 years old, taking into account education and health.

Singapore had a significant increase in its expected human capital, from 17 years of productivity in 1990 to 24 in 2016. The three other Asian regions in the top 20 were Taiwan at 5th place, South Korea at 6th and Japan at 14th.

The study evaluated the educational attainment, education quality, functional health status—stunting, wasting, anaemia, hearing loss, vision loss, cognitive impairment and infectious diseases—and survival of individuals.

Professor Teo Yik Ying, Dean, said the metrics for future assessments of human capital will change as the issue of human capital development develops and matures in most countries.

“In the future, the focus will no longer be simply educational attainment and learning, but also whether the skillsets learnt and attained are relevant to the future economy,” he added.

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