Despite government claims suggesting an upturn in the economic standing of the country, issues related to the basic citizen facilities continue to be ignored. The government may try and attempt to fake the annual economic growth, but the lack of priority over health and educational facilities is clearly visible.
Pakistan’s Rank and History
Pakistan is ranked 118th in a total of 130 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum for the Human Capital Report 2016. In 2013-14, Pakistan was ranked 112 out of 122 countries and in 2014-15, Pakistan dropped to 113 out of 124 countries. This year, our country has dropped even more to 118.
Pakistan has a Human Capital Index score of 53.10 and GDP per capita of $4,811. The report looks at three indicators which include, education, employment and demographics and compares the scores against an ideal state. The lower the score is from 100, the farther it is from being called an ideal state.
According to the report Pakistan has a population of 192.8 million. Over 116 million of those are of the working age and that the country has a median age of only 22 years. 54.5 percent of the population is aged under 25 percent, while only 4.5 percent belongs to the over-65 age group. 34 percent of the workforce work independently.
Pakistan’s labour force participation rate is over 54.1 percent. The employment to population ratio is very low at 41.8 percent. Unemployment continues to rise and stands at 5.9 percent, 0.8 percent higher than last year.
As far as education is concerned, under 10 percent of the population has received tertiary education. The report states that only 2.5 percent of the GDP is spent on public education which is amongst the lowest in the world.
The report is divided into five groups; 0-14 years, 15-24 years, 25-54 years, 55-64 years and over 65 year groups. Each group is individually ranked based on Education enrolment number, quality of the education, educational attainment, skills and economic participation. All of the rankings and scores can be viewed in the image below:
The Report and Analysis
The report states that Pakistan is ranked at the bottom of the Index in the world and South Asia because of “poor performances on educational outcomes throughout all the Age Group pillars, and despite a comparatively high tertiary attainment rate among the former’s older population.”
The analysis provided alongside the report says that Pakistan is ranked at the bottom in South Asia because of insufficient educational enrolment rates and below standard primary schools. The youth literacy rate in Pakistan is around 75 percent, far behind the rest of the prosperous world and the emerging nations.
Pakistan’s performance is somewhat better at tertiary educational level but the skill diversity ratio among the university graduates is very low.
Pakistan falls behind every other country in South Asia including Srilanka (ranked 50) India (ranked 105) and Bangladesh (ranked 104). Facing similar problems, it’s unfortunate to see Pakistan, the second most populous country in the region, lag behind the rest of the region.
Pakistan’s government is focused towards infrastructure projects and distributing laptops, while cutting budgets from water, education and health sectors. We saw a World Bank report about it a few months ago. Overall, we can see a trend that mismanaged government priorities are affecting the country’s Human Capital Index rankings.