ASTANA (TCA) — A child born in Kazakhstan today will be 75 percent as productive, when grown up, as he or she could be if enjoyed complete education and full health, according to a new Human Capital Index released by the World Bank on October 11.
The Human Capital Index (HCI) reflects the productivity as a future worker of a child born today, compared with what it could be if he or she had full health and complete, high-quality education, on a scale from zero to one, with 1 as the best possible score. The ranking is made up of the measurements of survival, schooling and health indicators.
According to the HCI data, 99 out of 100 children born in Kazakhstan survive to age 5. Children can expect to complete 13.3 years of school by age 18. However, if adjusted by quality of learning, this is only equivalent to 11.5 years: a learning gap of 1.8 years.
In addition, 80 percent of Kazakhstan’s teenagers (15-years old) will survive until age 60. The majority of children – 92 out of 100 – are not stunted, with only 8 out of 100 being stunted and at risk of cognitive and physical limitations.
Compared globally, Kazakhstan’s HCI value (0.75) is higher than the average for the Central Asia region and its income group. Since 2012, Kazakhstan’s performance in the Index has increased from 0.63 to 0.75.
“Investment in human capital is the most profitable investment a country can make,” says Ato Brown, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan. “As Kazakhstan prepares for a more technologically and digitally advanced future, it has an opportunity to equip its young people with health, knowledge, and the skills that will enable them – and their country – to succeed. The Index is a very helpful tool to see how Kazakhstan stands and what still needs to be done.”
Evidence from around the world shows that progress is possible. Poland enacted education reforms between 1990 and 2015, and experienced one of the fastest improvements in PISA scores in OECD countries. Vietnam recently topped the OECD average PISA score. Malawi succeeded in reducing its rate of stunting by nearly 20 percentage points in under two decades. Nevertheless, the index shows much more needs to be done.
The Index is part of the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project, which recognizes human capital as a driver of inclusive growth. In addition to the Index, the Human Capital Project includes a program to strengthen research and measurement on human capital, as well as support to countries to accelerate progress in human capital outcomes.