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Economic Freedom of the World: 2014 Annual Report


Milton Friedman

Cato Institute recently published this report. Here is an excerpt of the findings.

Global economic freedom fell slightly in this year’s report, and it remains well below its peak level of 6.92 in 2007. The average score fell to 6.84 in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. In this year’s index, Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.98 out of 10. The rest of this year’s top scores are Singapore, 8.54; New Zealand, 8.25; Switzerland, 8.19; Mauritius, 8.09; United Arab Emirates, 8.05; Canada, 8.00; Australia, 7.87; Jordan, 7.86; and, tied for 10th at 7.84, Chile and Finland.

The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 12th in the world, tied with the United Kingdom at 7.81. Due to a weakening rule of law, increasing regulation, and the ramifications of wars on terrorism and drugs, the United States has seen its economic freedom score plummet in recent years, compared to 2000 when it ranked second globally.

To really appreciate this report it helps to see the changes in top scores between this report and 1995. The table below is the 15 countries that are the top 10 scores. Mauritius is a new island nation in the Indian Ocean that only began being included in these reports in 2005. It rose in ranks from 111/141 in 2009 to 5/152 in the newest report. The number immediately after each country is the number of places that the country rose or fell. The three countries that rose the most are Muslim. The four countries that fell the most are liberal progressive with a self-loathing of their sovereign nation.

Year/Country Rank Year/Country Rank
2012 1995
Hong Kong 1/152 Hong Kong 1/123
Singapore 2/152 Singapore 2/123
New Zealand 3/152 New Zealand 3/123
Switzerland +3 4/152 United States 4/123
Mauritius +106 5/152 Ireland 5/123
United Arab Emirates +30 6/152 United Kingdom 6/123
Canada +1 7/152 Switzerland 7/123
Australia +2 8/152 Canada 8/123
Jordan +42 9/152 Netherlands 9/123
Finland +10 10/152 Australia 10/123
Chile +6 10/152 Chile 16/123
United Kingdom -6 12/152 Finland 20/123
United States -8 12/152 United Arab Emirates 36/123
Ireland -9 14/152 Jordan 51/123
Netherlands -25 34/152 Mauritius NA

About Author

I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.


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