Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Entrepreneurial talent is key differentiator

The 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report reveals that Switzerland, Singapore and the United States continue to lead the world in talent competitiveness. Countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, however, are facing a progressive erosion of their talent base.


The 2019 GTCI report, published by Insead in partnership with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications, is measuring how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent. The top ranking countries are Switzerland, which continues to lead the 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness index, while Singapore and the United States come in second and third respectively as they did in 2018. The Scandinavian countries Norway (4th), Denmark (5th), Finland (6th), and Sweden (7th) take the following top spots whilst countries in Asia and Africa finished at the bottom. Yemen ended up on 125th place, just below Congo (124th) and Burundi (123rd).

As in previous years, higher rankings are associated with higher income levels the researchers concluded. “Policies and practices that bring about talent competitiveness in more developed countries are less susceptible to political and socioeconomic fluctuations,” they wrote in a press release. “High-income economies have the stability to invest in lifelong learning, reinforcing skills, and attracting and retaining global talent.”

The report also confirms that talent issues are an essential key to the success of firms, nations and cities, with talent performance seen as a critical factor to growth and prosperity.

The results show that the highest-ranking countries and cities tend to be the most open to entrepreneurial talent and that digitalisation and globalisation are increasing the role of entrepreneurial talent. The report also comes to the conclusion that cities rather than countries are developing stronger roles as talent hubs and will be crucial to reshaping the global talent scene.

The cities topping the ranking this year are Washington DC, followed by Copenhagen, Oslo, Vienna and Zurich. Washington's success is thanks to its steady economy, dynamic population, outstanding infrastructure and connectivity, highly-skilled workforce and world class education. "In the top ten of talent competitiveness ranking, only two non-European countries can be seen: Singapore and the USA,” Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, Global Indices, Insead, and co-editor of the report said. “This underlines that Europe remains a talent powerhouse, but also that countries with great universities and a strong education sector are best at attracting talents."


1.      Switzerland                          81.82

2.      Singapore                             77.27

3.      USA                                       76.64

4.      Norway                                 74.67

5.      Denmark                               73.85

6.      Finland                                  73.78

7.      Sweden                                 73.53

8.      Netherlands                          73.02

9.      United Kingdom                    71.44

10.    Luxembourg                          71.18

11.    New Zealand                         71.12

12.    Australia                                71.08

13.    Iceland                                  71.03

14.    Germany                                70.72

15.    Canada                                   70.43

16.    Ireland                                   70.15

17.    Belgium                                  68.48

18.    Austria                                   68.31

19.    United Arab Emirates            65.90

20.    Israel                                      63.26


OVERALL RANK CITY                      SCORE

1.      Washington, DC (USA)           69.2

2.      Copenhagen (Denmark)         68.0

3.      Oslo (Norway)                        66.1

4.      Vienna (Austria)                     65.7

5.      Zurich (Switzerland)              65.5

6.      Boston (United States)           65.4

7.      Helsinki (Finland)                   65.0

8.      New York (United States)      64.6

9.      Paris (France)                         63.5

10.    Seoul (Korea, Rep.)                62.7