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PRESS RELEASE October 11, 2018

Deficiencies in Education and Health Undermine the Future of People in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Better healthcare and education are key to prepare children to succeed and prosper as adults

SARAJEVO, October 11, 2018— A child born in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) today will reach only 62 percent of its productive potential when he or she grows up as compared to children born in countries with best education and health care, according to the World Bank’s Human Capital Index released today at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings.

This new research provides compelling evidence that better children’s health and learning can significantly boost the incomes of people with long term benefits for individuals and the country as a whole.

This research shows that 56 percent of children born today across the world will lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings due to deficiencies in health and education. Governments are responsible to make effective investments in their people to ensure a healthy, educated, and resilient population ready for the workplace of the future. When governments fail in this regard, the future of the population is permanently undermined.

Human capital is the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives. Human capital has been a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and poverty reduction rates of many countries in the 20th century.

When assessing education in BiH, the report shows that on average children can expect to complete 11.7 years of schooling by age 18. However, this is only equivalent to 8.6 years of effective education when taking into account the quality of learning.

“The most valuable resource that Bosnia and Herzegovina has is its people; this is its real wealth and the main engine for prosperity that the country can have. But to reach its potential, people need to be healthy and have the skills and education that are needed in the labor market”, said Emanuel Salinas, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. “It is unfortunate that deficiencies in health and education undermine the future of the population and of the country as a whole. It is particularly unfortunate because the Governments spend a significant proportion of their budgets on health and education, but this does not translate into high quality services for the population. We hope that this report will help to focus the attention of the new governments on the priorities for the country going forward”.

The Human Capital Index measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, given the risks of poor health and education that prevail in the country where they live. The measure includes:

  • Survival – Will children born today survive to school age?
  • School   – How much schooling will they complete and how much will they learn?
  • Health   – Will they leave school in good health, ready for further learning and/or work as adults?

The Index is part of the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project, which recognizes human capital as 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.


In Sarajevo: Jasmina Hadžić. (033) 251-502, jhadzic@worldbank.org

In Washington: Christopher Walsh, (202) 473-4594, cwalsh@worldbankgroup.org

For Broadcast Requests: Huma Imtiaz, +1 (202) 290-4864, himtiaz@worldbankgroup.org

#InvestInPeople #HumanCapital

Website: www.worldbank.org/humancapitalproject