The ESI measures countries’ “distance to the ideal” performance. This ideal performance is chosen as the highest achieved by any country over a period of 7 years. The ideal performance is scaled to be 100 and the scores of all countries are then computed and compared to that. Basis of the ESI are 15 individual indicators from various international datasets. The scores are calculated across countries at the indicators’ level. The scores are then averaged at the various layers and finally the Index score is formed. To illustrate, an Index (or pillar, sub-pillar etc.) score of 65 suggests that the country has reached 65% of the ideal performance. Thus, there is still 35% (100-65) room for improvement. A score of 100 corresponds to achieving the ‘frontier’, that is an aspirational target performance for that indicator.  A score of 0 corresponds to a lowest-case performance. This page shows specific information on the scores achieved by the chosen country across pillars, sub-pillars and indicators. Below, you can find a short commentary on country’s skills system performance.


2020 scores and progress since 2018

For the index as a whole the Netherlands ranks 17th in the 2020 release compared to the 18th position in 2018. There are wide differences between the scores for the three pillars. Despite the good score for the skills activation pillar, the low score for the skills matching pillar places the Netherlands in the “middle-achieving” countries group at EU level.

For the skills development pillar, the Netherlands ranks 17th. Despite the good score for “reading, maths & science scores (aged 15)” (rank 6th), the Netherlands performs poorly in the basic education sub-pillar. Moreover, the training and tertiary education sub-pillar score is brought down by the poor performance in “high computer skills”.

For the skills activation pillar, the Netherlands ranks 4th, with the good performance in “early leavers rom training” (rank 5th) and high proportion of “recent graduates in employment” (rank 4th) score. The country has a lower activity rate for those aged 25-54 than might be expected (rank 16th), given the high youth activity rate (rank 6th).

For the skills matching pillar, the Netherlands ranks 21st. The Netherlands performs better for “overqualification rate (tertiary graduates)” (rank 5th) and worse in “low-waged earners (ISCED 5-8)” (29th).