Singapore ranks 13th in human capital study

Singapore jumped 30 spots in a study that ranks countries based on the number of years of peak productivity of workers, and is one of four Asian regions in the top 20.

Singapore was ranked 13th out of 195 countries and territories in 2016, up from 43rd place in 1990.

The study looked at how education and health affected the number of years of peak productivity for workers between the ages 20 and 64, or expected human capital.

The study, which spanned from 1990 to 2016, was conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research centre at the University of Washington.

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 in fifth place, South Korea in sixth and Japan in fourteenth.

Nordic countries swept the top three spots, with Finland in first, followed by Iceland and Denmark. The US fell from sixth place in 1990 to 27th in 2016.

The study looked at the educational attainment, education quality, functional health status and survival of individuals. It was published in international medical journal The Lancet yesterday.

Singapore had the highest score for education quality, based on tests among school-aged children, at 98 out of 100, in 2016.

Its functional health status score also remained high, at 82 out of 100 in 2016, up from 78 in 1990. - THE STRAITS TIMES