“Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016” is a study published in Lancet that examines health and education outcomes. Specifically, the researchers collected, standardized, and compared data on life expectancy, functional health status, educational attainment, and learning.
Nordic countries and nations in the South Pacific led the pack, and Canada reached 11th on the ranking. A handful of Eastern European nations, including Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, and Slovenia, fared better than the United States.
The authors want countries to spend more money on health and education. They conclude,
The World Bank argues that countries are not investing enough in health and education to benefit from the potential of their own human capital. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of expected human capital for 195 countries from 1990 to 2016. Countries have varied substantially in the pace of improving human capital, holding out the promise that wider implementation of targeted policies and funding focused on improving health and education can accelerate human and economic development.
It seems to me that the development of human capital also requires a strong societal belief in the importance of improving human capital, which no amount of money will improve.