The 10 countries in Latin America that invest most in their people

Image for post
Image for post
Image: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


This year’s Human Capital Index covers 24 economies from Latin America and the Caribbean. Key economies in the region, such as Chile and Argentina, often share similar strengths and weaknesses, and the region scores in the middle range of the overall index.

Chile benefits significantly from a well-educated and healthy older population that remains economically active well into the 55 to 64 age band. Its core prime working age population (25–54) boasts the highest tertiary education attainment rate in Latin America — one in three receive a tertiary education — and the young generation currently enrolled in university continues the positive trend. Argentina similarly exhibits high tertiary education enrolment rates. Yet both countries have youth unemployment rates of 15–20%.

Towards the middle of the regional rankings, Colombia exhibits a large skills mismatch, with one in three 15–24 year-old Colombians currently classified as over-educated for their work, and with a mere 17% employed in high-skilled work. More than half of all Colombian students graduate in business or a social science subject, while only 4% graduate in natural sciences.

Image for post
Image for post

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, ranks in the lower half of the index, with a poor performance on the quality of primary education for those aged under 15. Local businesses perceive it as difficult to hire skilled employees, although the country scores comparatively better on the quality of its on-the-job staff training and its skills diversity.

Countries across Latin America and the Caribbean are increasingly achieving high basic education attainment rates — only four countries in the region have a gap that is larger than 10% for primary school education. Cuba performs particularly well on this dimension. However, education quality scores across Latin America and the Caribbean suggest more work still needs to be done to improve outcomes across the region.

Image for post
Image for post

Labour force participation in the region begins to decline markedly for those over 55, yet compared to other regions the drop off is not particularly remarkable. In general, the region only has a small gender gap when it comes to women’s labour force participation.

The bottom ranks of the region are made up of Venezuela and the group of Central American nations, such as Honduras and Guatemala — where incomplete primary education and child labour remain a problem.

The World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report can be found .


Originally published at .

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state…

World Economic Forum

Written by

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation #wef

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation

World Economic Forum

Written by

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation #wef

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store