This week, the new World Bank Human Capital Index gives policymakers in the Caribbean and around the world compelling evidence that delivering better outcomes in children’s health and learning can significantly boost the incomes of people—and of countries—with returns far into the future.
The Index ranks where each country is now in terms of productivity of the next generation of workers. According to the research, Trinidad and Tobago followed by Jamaica have made significant human capital gains and rank ahead of other countries in the Caribbean region. Despite these progress, important gaps remain: a child born today in Trinidad and Tobago will have 61 percent of the labor productivity it could have had if provided with complete education and full health. In Jamaica, children born today once they grow up, will be only 54 percent as productive as they could be if they enjoyed complete education and full health.
Other Caribbean countries including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname are not featured in the Human Capital Index due to the lack of internationally comparable data measuring quality of education.
This first version of the index is based on what data is available today, but an important objective of the Human Capital Project is to improve the measurement of human capital. Going forward, the index may incorporate more data, including on the quality of education in the Caribbean, as well as expanding its coverage of other aspects of human capital.
We hope that all countries will engage with the Human Capital Project, which recognizes human capital as driver of inclusive growth.