Word Bank: Kenya’s human capital in decline


Kenya’s human capital has declined over the past decade and a half, according to figures from the World Bank.

Human capital is a score that measures the skills, knowledge, experience and learning potential – among other factors – of an individual or population and is widely cited as a reflection of a country’s development progress. According to the World Bank, Kenya’s human capital has declined from position 137 in 1990 to 139 out of 195 countries in 2016.

Kenya’s human capital in decline

Human capital is generally used to assess the value or cost of a population to its country. A large part of the score is determined by the skills and learning potential of a population but also other factors including life expectancy and health – one area Kenya has improved between 1990 and 2016.

However, the country has failed to improve at the same rate as other countries when it comes to life expectancy.

Meanwhile, Kenya has also improved in education since 1990, overtaking Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. However, the country still lags behind the global average and now finds itself ranking 139 out of 195 countries.

Kenya isn’t the only country to have fallen in the ranking, though. The US has found its human capital ranking falling from six to 27 out of 195 countries during the same period.

The ranking is topped by European countries of Finland, Iceland and Denmark while the African nations of Niger, South Sudan and Chad have the poorest human capital.

Featured image: Von ChuckTBaker – Aanj werk Diese Datei wurde von diesem Werk abgeleitet: 320 worldbank-logo.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32076789

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.