A child born in Romania today will achieve only half of productive potential

A child born in Romania today will achieve only half of the productive potential of a fully educated adult in good health, says the latest update of the World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI), which measures pre-pandemic human capital outcomes around the world. 

The analysis shows that a child born in Romania today will be achieve 58 percent of a fully educated adult in optimal health. This is lower than the productivity potential of 60 percent 10 years ago.

The country is now lower than the average for the Europe & Central Asia region including high-income countries.  

Romania’s HCI value reflects the need for urgent improvements in health and education outcomes.

Today, a child in Romania can expect to complete 11.8 years of pre-primary, primary and secondary school by age 18, compared with 12.6 years in 2010. By comparison, a child in France can expect to complete 13.8 years.

When years of schooling are adjusted for the quality of learning, the World Bank estimates that a child in Romania only benefits from 8.4 years of schooling, a learning gap of 3.4 years.

Furthermore, students in Romania score 442 for learning outcomes on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.

In terms of health, the percentage of 15-year-olds that will survive to age 60 stands at only 88 percent, compared to 93 percent in France and 95 percent in Sweden.

The World Bank Group’s 2020 Human Capital Index shows that pre-pandemic, most countries have made steady progress in developing human capital in children, with the biggest strides made in low-income countries.

Despite this progress, and even before the effects of the pandemic, a child born in a typical country could expect to achieve just 56 percent of her potential human capital, relative to a benchmark of complete education and full health.

The HCI is made up of this indicators

  • the probability of survival to age 5;
  • a child’s expected years of schooling;
  • harmonized test scores;
  • learning-adjusted years of school;
  • adult survival rate and healthy growth – the proportion of children who are not stunted (data on stunting are not available for Romania).

Scores are compiled for 174 countries covering 98 percent of the world’s population up to March 2020, providing a pre-pandemic baseline on the health and education of children.

The Human Capital Index (HCI), first launched in 2018, measures the level of knowledge and skills that a child born today can expect to acquire by the age 18 based on the risks associated with poor education and health in a specific country.

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