A study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington showed that Singapore is now ranked 13th worldwide.
In the last 26 years, the Lion City has risen 30 places, from 1990 when it was ranked at 43rd. Singapore has since outranked both Japan, which is at number 14, and the United States, which is at 27th.
The rise in Singapore’s ranking can be credited to 24 years of expected human capital, which is measured according to the number of years a person will work at top productivity, while factoring in functional health, life expectancy, functional health, learning and years of schooling.
For functional health, Singaporeans scored 82 out of 100. Singaporeans can also expect to work 44 out of 45 years, from age 20 to age 64. For learning, Singaporeans study 12 out of 18 years, and have a learning score of 98 out of 100.
The director of IHME, Dr Christopher Murray, said, “Our findings show the association between investments in education and health and improved human capital and GDP which policymakers ignore at their own peril.”
Functional health ratings are based on the following components: stunting, wasting, anemia, cognitive impairments, hearing and vision loss, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Learning, on the other hand, is based on scores on tests that can be compared across the globe.
At the top of the list is Finland, followed by Iceland, Denmark, the Netherlands (tied at second place) and Taiwan.
At the bottom of the list are Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, South Sudan, and Chad.
Singapore, ranked 13th, followed Switzerland in the 12th place.
The United States is ranked at 27th, between Australia (26) and the Czech Republic (28).
Like Singapore, China has also made a significant jump from 69th in 1990 to 44th.
Dr. Murray also said, “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.”