Singapore placed 13th in human capital investments: study

It has beaten both Japan and US that clinched the 14th and 27th spots, respectively.

The Lion City ranked 13th globally for its investments in education and health care, a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington revealed.

Over a 26-year period, the city-state jumped 30 places from being 43rd back in 1990. With the said ranking, Singapore has beaten Japan and the US placed 14th and 27th, respectively.

The significant improvement was backed by having 24 years of expected human capital, measured as the number of years a person can be expected to work in the years of peak productivity, taking into account life expectancy, functional health, years of schooling, and learning.

Overall, Singapore’s residents had 44 out of a possible 45 years of life between the ages of 20 and 64. They also have a functional health score of 82 out of 100.

In terms of education, Singaporeans have an expected educational attainment of 12 years out of a possible of 18 years in school whilst their learning score of 98 out of 100.

“Our findings show the association between investments in education and health and improved human capital and GDP which policymakers ignore at their own peril,” IHME director Dr Christopher Murray said.

In the study, learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

Meanwhile, components measured in the functional health score include stunting, wasting, anemia, cognitive impairments, hearing and vision loss, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Finland topped the rankings in human capital investments. 

“As the world economy grows increasingly dependent on digital technology, from agriculture to manufacturing to the service industry, human capital grows increasingly important for stimulating local and national economies,” Murray noted.

Singapore came next to Switzerland which clinched the 12th spot. 

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