Vietnam stands high on human capital index

By Dang Khoa   September 18, 2020 | 05:01 pm PT
Vietnam stands high on human capital index
Children do exercise at a kindergarten in HCMC, June 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
An above average score has enabled Vietnam to reach 38th position among 174 economies in the 2020 Human Capital Index.

Released Wednesday by the World Bank, the index used data up to March this year to provide a benchmark of human capital, including education and health, that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18 in the pre-pandemic era.

Vietnam's score increased from 0.66 in 2010 to 0.69, meaning that a Vietnamese child will be 69 percent as productive when growing up with good health and receiving a complete education.

The score is well above the world's average of 0.56.

The analysis found that 98 percent Vietnamese children survive to the age of 5; a Vietnamese boy or girl attending school at the age of 4 can complete 12.9 years of school, or high school, by the age of 18; and 76 percent of children are not stunted.

Vietnamese students received 519 points in Harmonized Test Scores (HTS), a level similar to countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. HTS measures how much children learn in school based on countries' relative performance on international student achievement tests, where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.

Furthermore, 87 percent of 15-year-olds will likely live until the age of 60 in Vietnam.

The report pointed out that Vietnam and other countries like Estonia, Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan have higher human capital than the countries with higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

In fact, Vietnam's human capital score is above many of the world power-house economies like Russia with 0.68 (41st place), China 0.65 (45th) and India with 0.49 (116th).

Singapore came in first place this year index with 0.88 points, followed by Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Canada to complete the top 5.

The bottom five countries are Mali, Niger, South Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam ranked above Brunei (56th), Malaysia (62nd), Thailand (63rd), Indonesia (96th), the Philippines (103rd), Cambodia (118th), Myanmar (120th), Laos (126th) and Timor-Leste (128th).

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