The U.S. ranks 27th in a new study that ranks 195 countries based on “expected human capital” — the population’s overall level of survival, health and education, considered a key determinant of economic growth. The analysis, authored by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and published in the British medical journal The Lancet, ranked Finland first, followed by Iceland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Taiwan.
The U.S. fell from 6th place in 1990 to 27th in 2016 — just below Germany, Greece and Australia — “because of minimal progress, particularly on educational attainment,” the report says.
"Our findings show the association — between investments in education and health and improved human capital and GDP — that policymakers ignore at their own peril," Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the IHME, said in a statement, according to CBS News. "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."