Vietnam is 48th in the World Bank’s new Human Capital Index, which ranks countries on how well prepared their children are for the future. The index suggests that the higher the investment in education and health, the more productive and higher earning a workforce will be.
The World Bank assessed the future productivity of citizens in 157 countries based on education, health and survivability measures. It studied the quantity and quality of education provided to children, the mortality rate for under-fives, the rate of stunting among young people and the adult survival rate.
Countries are scored between 0 and 1, where 1 means all children received the perfect education and a healthy start in life. Vietnam scored 0.67, higher than both Malaysia and Thailand.
The report highlights the country’s “meteoric rise in learning”, "its ambitious policies to improve human capital", and its high PISA scores that are above the OECD average.
The report says: “This performance is remarkable in view of Vietnam’s level of per capita income.”
Asian countries dominated the rankings with top-ranking Singapore scoring 0.88, South Korea and Japan ranking second and third respectively, and Hong Kong taking the fourth spot. Lower down, Malaysia was 55th and Thailand was 65th.
Chad, South Sudan and Niger took the lowest three spots.
The World Bank measured each country’s educational achievements based on the years of schooling a child can expect to obtain by age 18, combined with its performance in international student achievement tests. This is based on achievements within Vietnam's local, government-run schools.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said: “This index creates a direct line between improving outcomes in health and education, productivity, and economic growth.
“The bar is rising for everyone. Building human capital is critical for all countries, at all income levels, to compete in the economy of the future.”