Regional Disparities of Human Capital Formation in Sri Lanka

D. P. S. Chandrakumara


Education, being one main way of human capital formation, plays a crucial rolein socio-economic development. Similar to other resources, formation of human capitalin all regions of a country is essential for a balanced regional development. This paperdeals with how the human capital formation through formal education occurs in SriLanka aiming to identify the regional differences. The methodology, being quantitative,includes an analysis of descriptive statistics and a ranking of provinces using acomposite index on human capital formation constructed for the same purpose. Inconstructing the index, weights were obtained through the „principle componentanalysis‟ using the „Statistical Package for Social Scientists‟. The analysis and theconstruction of index was based on six main standard indicators namely „Literacy rate‟,„Participation in formal education‟, „Attainment of education‟, „Passing rates at mainexaminations‟, „Percentage of students qualify for university admission‟ and „theAdmission proportions by major stream of study‟. The study completely depended onthe secondary data on the formal education, which were obtained from institutional andnon-institutional sources, relevant to the nine provinces in Sri Lanka. The resultssuggest that there exists a significant disparity in human capital formation among thenine provinces of the country. The Western Province takes the first rank while theEastern Province gets the last. North-Western and the Southern Provinces are alsooutstanding while the positions of Uva and Central provinces are not satisfactory. Inaddition, the study finds that there are gender-related disparities also in the formation ofhuman capital at the regional level. Finally, it can be recommended that the governmentshould take these regional disparities into account when the resource allocations aremade for education and related services.

Key words: Education, Human capital, Regional disparity

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