|The top four countries in the World Bank human capital index are in Asia. Yonhap|
By Jung Min-ho
Korea has ranked second in a World Bank list called the "human capital index" ― a measure of youth mortality, health and education.
Among the World Bank's 157 member countries, Korea came second to Singapore in the rankings, which assess the future productivity and earnings potential of citizens.
The World Bank revealed the index at its annual meeting with the International Monetary Fund on the Indonesian island of Bali, Thursday.
Korea was highly rated in all areas, including life expectancy, learning periods and test results.
The other three in the top five were Japan, Hong Kong and Finland.
The report found that, on average, 56 percent of children born today will have to forgo more than half their potential lifetime earnings because their governments do not invest properly to ensure their well-being.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said he hoped the index would encourage government leaders to take the steps necessary to improve the lives of their citizens.
"This is about drawing their attention to a crisis that we think is real," Kim said. "This is connected to productivity, this is connected to economic growth.
"For the poorest people, human capital is often the only capital they have. It is a key driver of sustainable, inclusive economic growth, but investing in health and education has not gotten the attention it deserves."
2. South Korea
4. Hong Kong
2. South Sudan