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Malaysia outpaces China to rank 43rd on WEF’s global social mobility index

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has created a new index to measure social mobility, which is defined in the report as, “the movement in personal circumstances either ‘upwards’ or ‘downwards’ of an individual in relation to those of their parents.”

“In absolute terms, it is the ability of a child to experience a better life than their parents. On the other hand, relative social mobility is an assessment of the impact of socio-economic background on an individual’s outcomes in life,” as shared in The Global Social Mobility Report 2020.

The Global Social Mobility Index 2020 rankings (and country scores)

1 Denmark 85.2
2 Norway 83.6
3 Finland 83.6
4 Sweden 83.5
5 Iceland 82.7
6 Netherlands 82.4
7 Switzerland 82.1
8 Austria 80.1
9 Belgium 80.1
10 Luxembourg 79.8
11 Germany 78.8
12 France 76.7
13 Slovenia 76.4
14 Canada 76.1
15 Japan 76.1
16 Australia 75.1
17 Malta 75.0
18 Ireland 75.0
19 Czech Republic 74.7
20 Singapore 74.6

— Asia rankings continue —

43 Malaysia 62.0
45 China 61.5
50 Viet Nam 57.8
55 Thailand 55.4
59 Sri Lanka 52.3
61 Philippines 51.7
67 Indonesia 49.3
72 Lao PDR 43.8
76 India 42.7
78 Bangladesh 40.2
79 Pakistan 36.7

Essentially, as a measure of social mobility, these rankings identify the best-performing economies globally when it comes to creating equally shared opportunities, regardless of socio-economic background, gender, origin and other factors.

Where Malaysia has done well

Technology access (34th globally, with a rating of 78 on 100)

  • Measured on factors such as Internet users (% of adult population), rural population with electricity access (%), and mobile-broadband subscriptions (per 100 pop.).
  • Denmark was the best-performing country for technology access, while Singapore performed the best in terms of Internet access in schools.

Work opportunities (24th globally, with a rating of 76 on 100)

  • Measured on factors such as unemployment among labour force with basic education, ratio of female to male labour force participation rate, and workers in vulnerable employment.
  • Iceland was the best-performing country for work opportunities, while Thailand performed the best in terms of unemployment among labour force with basic education as well as among those with intermediate education.

Health (50th globally, with a rating of 73 on 100)

  • Measured on factors such as prevalence of malnourishment (% of 5-19 year olds), inequality-adjusted healthy life expectancy index, and adolescent birth rate per 1,000 women.
  • Cyprus was the best-performing country for health, while Singapore performed the best in terms of inequality-adjusted healthy life expectancy index.

Where Malaysia needs improvement

Working conditions (55th globally, with a rating of 55 on 100)

  • Measured on factors such as Workers’ Rights Index, employees working more than 48 hours per week, and collective bargaining coverage ratio.
  • Sweden was the best-performing country for working conditions, while Singapore performed the best in terms of cooperation in labour-employer relations.

Social protection (57th globally, with a rating of 42 on 100)

  • Measured on factors such as guaranteed min. income benefits, social protection coverage (% of population), and social protection spending (% of GDP).
  • Denmark was the best-performing country for social protection, while Norway performed the best in terms of social safety net protection.

Fair wage distribution (67th globally, with a rating of 33 on 100)

  • Measured on factors such as ratio of bottom 40% to top 10% labour income share, adjusted labour income share, and mean income of bottom 40% (% of national mean income).
  • Belgium was the best-performing country for fair wage distribution, while the Philippines performed the best in terms of low pay incidence (% of workers).

Image / WEF

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