According to the Institute of the German Economy (IW) in Cologne, Germans are well educated by international comparison. However, the new generation is not supported enough and much know-how lies idle, say the IW´s experts. Thus, the human capital indicator calculated by the IW gives Germany 50 out of 100 possible points placing it in 17th position among 26 industrialized countries. Germany lags a great deal behind the top position holders Japan (72 points), Australia (64 points) and Switzerland (63 points).
One problem in Germany is a lack of young academics. Thus, the number of young academics in the age group from 25 to 34 is the same as among people aged between 55 and 64 years. In Japan, on the other hand, there are 33 percent more academics in the former age group than in the latter. Furthermore, in Germany pupils from non-German speaking families did worse (89 points less) in the PISA reading test than the average of all pupils which corresponds to a backlog of 2 school years. In Denmark this difference amounted to just 26 and in Australia even to just 15 PISA points.
On the other hand, in Germany much know-how is not used also because of the relatively short annual working time which amounts to 1435 hours. For example, in Australia and the USA people on average work more than 1.800 hours per year. Furthermore, the percentage of gainfully employed people in Germany amounted to just 46% in the age group of 55-64 in the year 2005 while in Sweden it reached 70%.