Malaysia's overall Human Capital Index (HCI) score is higher than the average for upper-middle income countries and countries in the East Asian and Pacific region, says the World Bank.

However, the World Bank said when comparing with the average for high-income countries, Malaysia's score of 0.62 was lower than these countries.

The HCI highlights that Malaysia is a strong performer with respect to childhood survival: 99 out of 100 children born today survive to the age of five, the World Bank said according to a HCI which was launched yesterday morning during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings held in Bali, Indonesia.

A significant proportion of these children, however, suffer from malnutrition with one in five (21 per cent) were stunted, said the World Bank in a new release.

HCI measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age of 18, given risks of poor health and education that prevail in the country and the measures include survival, health and schooling.

The education component of the HCI shows that children in Malaysia can expect to complete 12.2 years of school by age of 18, according to the news release.

World Bank said, however, when years of schooling were adjusted for quality of learning, there was only equivalent to 9.1 years, a learning gap of 3.1 years.

Delivering better outcomes in terms of children's health and learning can boost the incomes of people and countries including Malaysia, with returns far into the future, said the World Bank.

Malaysia performs well but can do even better to achieve higher outcomes given its current level of income and development ambition, said World Bank Group Representative to Malaysia and Country Manager Firas Raad.

He said the World Bank was committed to work with Malaysia to make needed and transformative shifts towards better nutrition and learning outcomes among children.

The World Bank said globally, 56 percent of children born today across the world would lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings because governments were not currently making effective investment in their people to ensure a healthy, educated and resilient population ready for the workplace of the future.