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PRESS RELEASE October 11, 2018

Poland Among Leaders in Human Capital Outcomes, but Continued Investments in Health and Education Needed

WARSAW, 11 October 2018 – Poland scores a high, 30th place on the newly-established Human Capital Index (HCI). The Index, launched during the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Indonesia, ranks 157 participating countries in terms of education, skills, and health outcomes among their citizens. The HCI is made up of five indicators: the probability of survival to age 5; a child’s expected years of schooling; quality of learning; adult survival rate; and the proportion of children who are not stunted.

According to the Index, Poland scores 0.75 on a scale from zero to one, with 1 as the best possible score. Singapore, with an HCI score of 0.88, topped the list, with the Republic of Korea ranking second and Japan third, both with values of 0.84.

A country score of 0.5, for example, means that the country is forgoing half its future economic potential. Calculated over 50 years, this translates into deep economic losses estimated at 1.4 percent annual loss in GDP growth.

“Poland’s HCI rank is higher than the average for its region and income group. The new measure confirms our previous analytical findings showcasing Poland’s success in economic development in recent years,’ says Carlos Piñerúa, World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic States. "Having said that, the HCI also reveals that there is room for improvement, especially in health outcomes. According to the data for Poland, 89 percent of 15-year-olds will survive until age 60, which is below what we would expect to see. Reforms for better health outcomes need to be continued, which is why health is a pillar of our new strategy for Poland.”

The report shows that education reforms enacted since 1990 have helped Poland succeed in upgrading learning outcomes among children – resulting in some of the fastest improvements in PISA scores among OECD countries. Children in Poland can expect to complete 13.2 years of pre-primary, primary and secondary school by age 18. However, when years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, this is only equivalent to 11.3 years: a learning gap of 1.9 years.

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 health and education.

Poland is among 28 countries across various income levels that have expressed interest in participating in the Project and have nominated government representatives to work with the World Bank Group. These countries are focused on getting governments to discuss ways of boosting health and education outcomes for citizens and accelerating progress on human capital development

The Index is included in the World Development Report 2019 on the Changing Nature of Work, which addresses the importance of investing in human capital to prepare for the future of work.



Filip Kochan