The GCI ranking evaluates the overall quality of life in assessed countries. It measures financial indicators, as well as taking into account the level of education and research, quality of infrastructure, labour market efficiency, impact of social institutes, and health of a country’s population.
What the GCI results show
The world is suffering from global issues. While global economics haven’t yet recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, additional challenges have emerged from other geopolitical problems such as the crisis in Ukraine, conflicts in the Middle East, increasing terrorism threats, and the migrant crisis.
The 2016-2017 GCI results are proof that only countries with advanced and stable economies can withstand the ever-changing global socio economic environment. Switzerland, the top country in this year’s GCI, experienced only a moderate recession since 2007 and its unemployment rate remained at around 3% during the financial crisis. At the same time, Greece’s economy (ranked in 86th place) decreased by 25% and its unemployment rate rose to 20% because of the financial crisis. The GCI numbers show that the quality of life in advanced countries is less affected by global difficulties.
The top 10 countries ranked by the Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017 are:
- United States
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong SAR
The Netherlands’ results
The Netherlands rose one place since the last edition of the GCI ranking, becoming 4th overall. This result beats the country’s best ranking, achieved four years ago. The ranking also indicates that this improvement comprises of small growth in nearly all assessed categories.
Dutch higher education and training ranked 3rd best in the list, proving that the Netherlands is one of world’s top study destinations. This category consists of multiple factors such as quality of the education system (7th place), quality of management schools (6th), quality of math and science education (7th), availability of specialised training services (3rd), internet access in schools (7th), secondary education enrolment (5th), tertiary education enrolment (19th), and extent of staff training (6th).
The Netherlands also ranked highly in other categories, including 3rd overall position in the infrastructure category, 4th in health and primary education, 5th in business sophistication, 7th in innovation (with 4th place in quality of research institution), and 11th in the impact of social institutions.
Despite economic growth, the Netherlands still has areas to improve in. The Dutch labour market is relatively weak (14th place overall), primarily due to low flexibility in wage determination (127th). The GDP in the Netherlands remains lower than in 2007. As well, the country hasn’t yet been able to recover from its national real estate crisis in 2009. Nethertheless, the country has made a large positive move toward facilitating of hiring and firing (49th from 89th). This progress is a result of the Work and Security Act effective since mid-2015.
Source: Global Competitiveness Index