Monday, July 8, 2013

Economic Freedom

All countries ranked by the yearly Index of Economic Freedom are sorted into the following categories: Free (100-80), Mostly Free (79.9-70), Moderately Free (69.9-60), Mostly Unfree (59.9-50), and Repressed (49.9-0).

The only countries not ranked in 2013 were Afghanistan, Liechtenstein, Iraq, Somalia, Kosovo, Sudan, Libya, and Syria.

The economically freest country in the world, for the 19th consecutive year, was Hong Kong, which is actually a special autonomous region of China. With a score of 89.3, Hong Kong led the only 5 countries that were categorized as free. The others, in order, were Singapore (88), Australia (82.6), New Zealand (81.4), and Switzerland (81).

The world's average economic freedom score is only 59.6.

So where do the nations lie on this ranking system? Many Western European nations (the Nordics, the UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria), Canada, the United States, South Korea, and Japan fall under Mostly Free. Also within Europe and Asia were Lithuania, Estonia, Taiwan, and Macau. Some Middle Eastern nations with a Mostly Free ranking include Bahrain, the UAE, Qatar, and Jordan.

Within the Moderately Free nations were other European nations (Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Latvia), several Central South American countries (Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia), some Asian countries (Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia), some African countries (South Afria, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, Madagascar), and some Middle Eastern countries (Israel, Saudi Arabia).

The Mostly Unfree countries include nations such as Russia, Greece, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Yemen, many Asian nations (China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, the Phillipines), and many African nations (Egypt, Seychelles, Mali, Kenya, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Malawi, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso).

The Repressed Nations include very few European nations (Belarus, Ukraine), some Central and South American countries (Haiti, Cuba, Ecuador), But the five least economically free nations in the world by the 2013 index were Eritrea (36.3), Venezuela (36.1), Zimbabwe (28.6), Cuba (28.5), and lagging far behind in last place, North Korea (1.5).

Some of the factors measured include Rule of Law, Limited Government, Regulatory Efficient, and Open Markets. The world average has remained largely the same since 1995. However, average Trade and Fiscal freedom have increased.

Bar Graph of United States Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period
The United States Economic Freedom Score

Bar Graphs comparing United States to other economic country groups
More US Freedom scores


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