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Creating the right environment to develop, attract and retain a skilled workforce boosts competitiveness in a rapidly changing world

Europe leads the IMD World Talent ranking in fostering the best conditions for competitiveness in a skills-scarce global economy, as the European countries at the top of the table all share high levels of investments in education and a superior quality of life.

Switzerland in the first and Denmark in the second position firmly lead the ranking for the seventh year in a row, followed by Sweden, Austria and Luxembourg. Sweden joins the top three, advancing five positions with respect to last year, thanks to improvements in such as total public expenditure on education and the prioritization of talent attraction and retention in the private sector. With the exception of Estonia and Lithuania, Eastern European economies place in the lower half of the ranking.

In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan achieve the best placements in terms of talent competitiveness thanks to the readiness of their talent pool, including their high levels of graduates in sciences, the results in the PISA educational assessment and the effectiveness of the primary and secondary education. Singapore is the only non- European country in the top ten, rising from 13th to 10th place compared to last year.

China places in the second half of the ranking, declining by three positions compared to 2018. Despite the high quality of its talent pool, the country has some difficulties in attracting foreign skilled workers and its levels of public expenditure in education remain below the average of other advanced economies.

In the Pacific area, Australia and New Zealand confirm their position as talent-appealing hubs. Both countries show high levels of readiness in their talent pool and offer an attractive quality of life for international professionals.

The United States confirms its position with respect to last year showing important advancements in investments and development of its local talent pool. Canada loses seven positions compared to 2018 as a result of a decrease in total public expenditure on education and a general decline across all talent factors.

The bottom of the ranking finds several Latin American countries. These economies struggle in developing and retaining talent. Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil to different extent all share issues related to brain drain matched with a relatively low level of investments in education.

For a complete list of the IMD World Talent ranking 2019, please visit our website.