Results and Analysis
Results for all 124 countries ranked by the Index are shown in Tables 3 and 4 as well as Figure 1. Tables 5 and 6 allow for comparisons within regional groupings and income groupings. Table A1 and Table A2 in Appendix A contain the complete list of countries by region and income group, respectively.
This year’s edition of the Human Capital Index is dominated by European countries, particularly the Nordics and Benelux states, with two countries from the Asia and the Pacific region and one country from the North America region also making it into the top 10. The leaders of the Index are high-income economies that have placed importance on high educational attainment and a correspondingly large share of high-skilled employment.
Finland (1) is the best-performing country in the world when it comes to building and leveraging its human capital potential, taking the top spot on the Under 15 and 25–54 Age Group pillars and scoring in the top 10 for the remaining age groups. Norway (2) and Switzerland (3) follow closely behind with a strong performance across all age groups, although they do not make it to the top 10 in the Under 15 Age Group pillar.
Canada (4) is the only North American country in the top 10, being the overall leader for the 15–24 Age Group pillar. Japan (5) performs strongly in the 55–64 and 65 and Over Age Group pillars, boosted by the longevity and education of its older population, but held back by relatively low labour force participation in the prime working age group, in particular due to the gender gap.
Sweden (6) slightly outperforms Denmark (7) although both have strong results across all age groups. New Zealand (9), the only other country from the Asia and the Pacific region, places in the top 10 for all age group pillars except for the 25–54 Age Group pillar, due in particular to a comparatively lower economic complexity and labour force participation rate. The Netherlands (8) and Belgium (10) have strong scores in the younger age group pillars but are penalized by relatively low labour force participation and a relatively high unemployment rate among the 55–64 and 65 and over age groups, despite strong health and education results.