Oct 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka has taken the lead in South Asia in a new system of rankings unveiled by the World Bank Group on Thursday to rank countries based on their success in developing human capital.
The new Human Capital Index (HCI) rankings, based on health, education and survivability measures, assess the future productivity and earnings potential for citizens of the World Bank's member nations, and ultimately the potential economic growth of the countries.
It measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18. It conveys the productivity of the next generation of workers compared to a benchmark of complete education and full health.
The index was unveiled at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia today.
Among the 157 countries ranked by the Human Capital Project of the World Bank, Sri Lanka with an overall HCI value of 0.58 ranks ahead of its South Asian neighbors India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The HCI is made up of five indicators: the probability of survival to age five, a child's expected years of schooling, harmonized test scores as a measure of quality of learning, adult survival rate (fraction of 15-year olds that will survive to age 60), and the proportion of children who are not stunted.
Between 2012 and 2017, the HCI value for Sri Lanka remained approximately the same at 0.58. In 2017, the HCI for Sri Lanka is higher than what would be predicted for its income level.
What the index points out, is in Sri Lanka, a child born today will be 58 percent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.
In comparison among South Asian countries, Bangladesh scores 48 percent and Nepal 49 percent in the same category while India is at 44 percent and Pakistan at 39 percent.
While 99 out of 100 children born in Sri Lanka survive to age 5, 17 percent of children are stunted, and at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that can last a lifetime.
A child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 13 years of school by her 18th birthday, but factoring in what children actually learn, expected years of school is only 8.3 years.
In harmonized test scores, students in Sri Lanka score 400- the highest in south Asia- on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.
Across Sri Lanka, 87 percent of 15-year olds will survive until age 60. This statistic is a proxy for the range of fatal and non-fatal health outcomes that a child born today would experience as an adult under current conditions.