Results by Income Group
Not surprisingly, the Global Human Capital Index finds a clear correlation between an economy’s income level and its human capital development—countries with higher gross national income (GNI) and GDP per capita have on average higher scores. However, there are significant differences and overlaps within and between income brackets, with some lower-income countries far outperforming richer ones.
Out of the 46 economies covered by the Index in the high-income bracket (those with a GNI per capita above US$12,235), 23 out of the 25 economies scoring 70% or more belong to this group, while a further 20 high-income economies score in the 60% to 70% range and three are yet to cross the 60% threshold.
Among the 32 countries covered by the Index in the upper-middle income bracket (those with a GNI per capita between US$3,956 and US$12,235), one country—the Russian Federation—has crossed the 70% threshold, 17 countries score within the 60% to 70% range and 14 countries within the 50% to 60% range.
Within the lower-middle income group (countries with a GNI per capita between US$1,006 and US$3,955), one out of 35 countries covered by the Index—Ukraine—scores above 70%, 12 countries score in the 60% to 70% range, 16 countries score in the 50% to 60% range and six score less than 50%.
Finally, just one of the 17 low-income economies (those with a GNI per capita under US$1,006) covered by the Index—Rwanda—scores above 60%, eight score in the 50% to 60% range and eight are yet to close the 50% threshold.
Figure 5 displays the relationship between GNI per capita levels and performance on the Human Capital Index. For example, Canada (14) and Estonia (12) are practically tied in their human capital outcomes but record very different GNI per capita levels. Conversely, despite similar GNI per capita levels, the United Arab Emirates (45) significantly outperforms Kuwait (96), indicating that human capital potential investment and planning can make a difference to a nation’s human capital outcomes regardless of where it falls on the global income scale. Creating a virtuous cycle of this nature should be the aim of all countries.
Figure 5: Relationship between GNI per capita and the Global Human Capital Index 2017