WEF Report: Bhutan is placed 87th out of 124 countries in the Human Capital Index 2015 that the World Economic Forum (WEF) based in Geneva published recently.

The index measures how a country deploys its human resources for its economic development, and evaluates the levels of education, skills and employment opportunities in the country.

Bhutan is ranked higher than some of the South Asian countries like India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Bhutan’s 90 percent enrolment in primary education helped push the country’s rank up.  The report also says that Bhutan does not have a gender enrolment gap in secondary education.

Bhutan is classified as a lower middle-income country, whose per capita income ranges from USD 1,006 to USD 3,975.

The report states that Bhutan has a working population of 527,000 between the ages of 15 to 64 years.  About 12,000 of its population have received tertiary education.

Almost 70 percent of the country’s total population is employed, 39 percent of which are in agriculture.  The report states that 22 percent are employed in service sectors and 7.6 in industry, while 2.9 percent are unemployed.

On quality of education system or how well the educational system in the country meets the needs of a competitive economy, Bhutan scored 4 out of 7.

The country’s public spending on education is 4.6 percent of gross domestic product.  Bhutan scored 3.9 out of 7 on the Internet access in schools.

“Focus on unemployment rates provides an incomplete outlook on a nation’s success in utilising its human capital endowment,” says the report.  “As today’s economies become ever more knowledge-based, technology-driven and globalised, there is a growing recognition that countries prepare the next generation.”

Finland has topped the list, followed closely by Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Belgium.

The WEF said the list has been compiled on the basis of 46 indicators on how well countries are developing and deploying their human capital, focusing on education, skills and employment.

The report said that, in Asia and the Pacific, where the majority of the world’s population is concentrated, the gap between the highest and lowest performing countries is among the widest.

Currently, more than 200 million people globally are out of a job, with youth hit particularly hard.

By MB Subba