Over the weekend, the World Economic Forum released their Global Competitiveness Report, which analyzes 114 indicators that “capture concepts that matter for productivity and long-term prosperity.” The extensive research and surveying done for the report are meant to give a comprehensive look at where each country currently stands in comparison to the rest of the world. Thanks to areas like financial market development and innovation, America sits behind Switzerland the overall rankings. But if you look at the numbers a bit deeper, you’ll see that we’re falling behind in life expectancy and education.
According to the report, America’s life expectancy is surprisingly low when compared to other country’s rates. Out of 140 countries, America currently sits at 37th place for life expectancy, with an average of 78.7 years. This leaves us well behind the average lifespan of comparable European and Asian countries like Hong Kong (84.3), Italy (83.5), France (82.7), and Japan (83.8).
The United States also ranks 25th for primary education and its 5.9 score leaves the home of the brave a full point behind Finland (6.9), which was ranked number one. America also sits behind Switzerland, Malaysia, and even Canada when it comes to the quality of education.
Life expectancy and primary education are essential factors in determining the quality of a person’s life. Primary education actually shares a direct link with life expectancy, as the amount of education someone receives correlates with the length of their life. The more educated you are, the longer you are likely to live. And the path to higher education starts with a good primary education. Improve one, and you’ll improve the other.