How Australia measures up in The Human Capital Report 2016

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is set to change all industries, so managing the transition to new ways to produce, consume, transport and deliver is important. Managing and directing our human capital is therefore an important consideration, and will affect the way we do business, forcing us to connect to each other, services, and markets in new ways. 

The World Economic Forum's Human Capital Report 2016 reviews international data to offer us a comprehensive view of what we're looking down the barrel of moving into the next era. The Human Capital Index examines 130 countries and each one's development and deployment of human capital. It examines education levels, skills, and employment across five key age groups, but also looks at government, business leaders and educational institutes, and how they are all collaborating. 

How we measure human capital

Human capital means the knowledge and skills that people have that allow them to create economic value. This may be the most important element of a nation's success above all else, so to get the most out of it, it must be leveraged efficiently. The Human Capital Index is a tool to capture the complexities of work and education so as to promote better decision-making at all levels. 

So how'd Australia do? (Rank out of 130 countries, score out of 100)

  • Australia's overall Human Capital Index ranking was 18, score 80.08
  • 0-14 age group rank 24, score 91.36
  • 15-24 age group rank 5, score 82.56
  • 25-54 age group rank 22, score 74.33
  • 55-64 age group rank 15, 80.85
  • 65+ age group rank 27, score 67.27

Australia's quick facts:

  • We have 16 million working-age Australians
  • The median age is 37
  • Our GDP per capita is US$45,925
  • There are almost five million tertiary-education Australians
  • In our population, 65 per cent are in the workforce
  • The unemployment rate is 6.1 per cent

How'd New Zealand do?

New Zealand ranked number 6, with a score of 82.79. The 15-24 age group scored two points lower than Australia (at rank 7 compared to Australia's 5), but New Zealand outranked Australia in every other age range by significant margins. The age groups that fared best were the pre-retirees and retirees, ranking number 2 and 3 respectively. 

So who came out on top?

  1. Finland, 85.86
  2. Norway, 84.64
  3. Switzerland, 84.61
  4. Japan, 83.44
  5. Sweden, 83.29
  6. New Zealand, 82.79
  7. Denmark, 82.47
  8. Netherlands, 82.18
  9. Canada, 81.95
  10. Belgium, 81.59

Who came out on the bottom?

121. Lesotho, 51.62
122. Senegal, 51.49
123. CÙte d’Ivoire, 50.34
124. Burundi, 50.17
125. Guinea, 50.17
126. Mali, 49.37
127. Nigeria, 48.86
128. Chad, 44.23
129. Yemen, 42.98
130. Mauritania, 42.33

The biggest gaps in numbers were found at the bottom of the list, where there were large jumps (comparatively) between the score above and the score below, with the largest in the whole document between Nigeria and Chad, with around four points were shaved off in one go. 

Download The Human Capital Report 2016