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Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Finland tops the rankings of the global Human Capital Index in 2015. The index, conducted by the World Economic Forum, takes a life-course approach to human capital, evaluating the levels of education, skills and employment available to people in five distinct age groups from under 15 to over 65 years. The aim is to assess the outcome of past and present investments in human capital and offer insight into what a country’s talent base will look like in the future.

Finland scored 86 per cent out of a possible 100. Norway came second and Switzerland as third.


Finland is the best performing country in the region and on the index overall. It’s the best-performing country in the world when it comes to building and leveraging its human capital potential, taking the top spot on the under 15 and 25–54 age group pillars and scoring in the top 10 for the remaining age groups.

The country benefits from a well-educated young population with the second best basic education survival rate and the highest score for the quality of primary schools.  Its 25–54 age group core working population shows the highest tertiary educational attainment rate in the Europe and Central Asia region but also second best overall in the world.

Based on the World Economic Forum’s executive opinion survey, Finland is also the country with the overall highest score on the ease of finding skilled employees indicator, with even its 55–64 age group possessing the world’s highest attainment rate of tertiary education, highlighting the continuing long-term benefits of past human capital investments.

“Talent, not capital, will be the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century,” Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said in a bulletin.

“To make any of the changes necessary to unlock the world’s latent talent – and hence its growth potential – we must look beyond campaign cycles and quarterly reports. Dialogue, collaboration and partnerships between all sectors are crucial for the adaptation of educational institutions, governments and businesses.”