Index of Economic Freedom

The Index of Economic Freedom is an annual index and ranking created in 1995 by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations. The creators of the index took an approach similar to Adam Smith's in The Wealth of Nations, that "basic institutions that protect the liberty of individuals to pursue their own economic interests result in greater prosperity for the larger society".[1][2]

2018 Index

Key: ██ Free (75–100) ██ Mostly Free (70–74.9) ██ Moderately Free (65–69.9) ██ Moderately Free (60–64.9) ██ Mostly Unfree (55–59.9) ██ Mostly Unfree (50–54.9) ██ Repressed (0–49.9)

(Click on the french version to read the worldwide rank)

Country[3] Score Change
 Hong Kong90.2 0.4
 Singapore88.8 0.2
 New Zealand84.2 0.5
  Switzerland81.7 0.2
 Australia80.9 0.1
 Ireland80.4 3.7
 Estonia78.8 0.3
 United Kingdom78.0 1.6
 Canada77.7 0.8
 United Arab Emirates77.6 0.7
 Iceland77.0 2.6
 Denmark76.6 1.5
 Taiwan76.6 0.1
 Luxembourg76.4 0.5
 Sweden76.3 1.4
 Georgia76.2 0.2
 Netherlands76.2 0.4
 United States75.7 0.6
 Lithuania75.3 0.5
 Chile75.2 1.3
 Mauritius75.1 0.4
 Malaysia74.5 0.7
 Norway74.3 0.3
 Czech Republic74.2 0.9
 Germany74.2 0.4
 Finland74.1 0.1
 South Korea73.8 0.5
 Latvia73.6 1.2
 Qatar72.6 0.5
 Japan72.3 2.7
 Israel72.2 2.5
 Austria71.8 0.5
 North Macedonia71.3 0.6
 Macau70.9 0.2
 Botswana69.9 0.2
 Vanuatu69.5 2.1
 Romania69.4 0.3
 Uruguay69.2 0.5
 Rwanda69.1 1.5
 Jamaica69.1 0.4
 Kazakhstan69.1 0.1
 Colombia68.9 0.8
 Peru68.7 0.2
 Armenia68.7 1.6
 Poland68.5 0.2
 Malta68.5 0.8
 Bulgaria68.3 0.4
 Cyprus67.8 0.1
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines67.7 2.5
 Bahrain67.7 0.8
 Saint Lucia67.6 2.6
 Belgium67.5 0.3
 Thailand67.1 0.9
 Panama67.0 0.7
 Hungary66.7 0.9
 Kosovo66.6 1.3
 Costa Rica65.6 0.6
 Turkey65.4 0.2
 Slovakia65.3 0.4
 Spain65.1 1.5
 Philippines65.0 0.6
 Jordan64.9 1.8
 Mexico64.8 1.2
 Slovenia64.8 5.6
 Albania64.5 0.1
 Dominica64.5 0.8
 Azerbaijan64.3 0.7
 Montenegro64.3 2.3
 Indonesia64.2 2.3
 Brunei Darussalam64.2 5.6
 France63.9 0.6
 Portugal63.4 0.8
 Guatemala63.4 0.4
 The Bahamas63.3 2.2
 El Salvador63.2 0.9
 Tonga63.1 0.1
 South Africa63.0 0.7
 Kyrgyzstan62.8 1.7
 Italy62.5 0.0
 Serbia62.5 3.6
 Kuwait62.2 2.9
 Paraguay62.1 0.3
 Uganda62.0 1.1
 Fiji62.0 1.4
 Ivory Coast62.0 1.0
 Morocco61.9 0.4
 Bhutan61.8 3.4
 Seychelles61.6 0.2
 Dominican Republic61.6 1.3
 Samoa61.6 3.1
 Bosnia and Herzegovina61.4 1.2
 Croatia61.0 1.6
 Oman61.0 1.1
 Honduras60.6 1.8
 Burkina Faso60.0 0.4
 Cabo Verde60.0 3.1
 Tanzania59.9 1.3
 Saudi Arabia59.6 4.8
 Tunisia58.9 3.2
 Nicaragua58.9 0.3
 Cambodia58.7 0.8
 Guyana58.7 0.2
 Namibia58.5 4.0
 Nigeria58.5 1.4
 Moldova58.4 0.4
 Tajikistan58.3 0.1
 Russia58.2 0.1
 Belarus58.1 0.5
 Gabon58.0 0.6
 China57.8 0.4
 Sri Lanka57.8 0.4
 Trinidad and Tobago57.7 3.5
 Mali57.6 1.0
 Solomon Islands57.5 2.5
 Greece57.3 2.3
 Belize57.1 1.5
 Barbados57.0 2.5
 Guinea-Bissau56.9 0.8
 Madagascar56.8 0.6
 Benin56.7 2.5
 Comoros56.2 0.4
 Ghana56.0 0.2
 Swaziland55.9 5.2
 Haiti55.8 6.2
 Mongolia55.7 0.9
 Senegal55.7 0.2
 Papua New Guinea55.7 4.8
 Bangladesh55.1 0.1
 Kenya54.7 1.2
 India54.5 1.9
 Pakistan54.4 1.6
 Zambia54.3 1.5
   Nepal54.1 1.0
 Mauritania54.0 0.4
 Myanmar53.9 1.4
 Lesotho53.9 0.0
 São Tomé and Príncipe53.6 1.8
 Laos53.6 0.4
 Egypt53.4 0.8
 Lebanon53.2 0.1
 Vietnam53.1 0.7
 Ethiopia52.8 0.1
 Micronesia52.3 1.8
 Argentina52.3 1.9
 The Gambia52.3 1.1
 Guinea52.2 4.6
 Congo-Kinshasa52.2 4.3
 Malawi52.1 0.2
 Cameroon52.0 0.1
 Ukraine51.9 3.8
 Sierra Leone51.8 0.8
 Uzbekistan51.5 0.8
 Brazil51.4 1.5
 Afghanistan51.1 2.4
 Maldives51.1 0.8
 Iran51.0 0.4
 Burundi50.9 2.3
 Liberia50.9 1.8
 Kiribati50.8 0.1
 Niger49.5 1.3
 Sudan49.4 0.6
 Chad49.3 0.3
 Central African Republic49.2 2.6
 Angola48.6 0.1
 Ecuador48.5 0.8
 Suriname48.1 0.1
 Timor-Leste48.1 1.8
 Togo47.8 5.4
 Turkmenistan47.1 0.3
 Mozambique46.3 3.6
 Djibouti45.1 1.6
 Algeria44.7 1.8
 Bolivia44.1 3.6
 Zimbabwe44.0 0.0
 Equatorial Guinea42.0 3.0
 Eritrea41.7 0.5
 Congo-Brazzaville38.9 1.1
 Cuba31.9 2.0
 Venezuela25.2 1.8
 North Korea5.8 0.9

Not ranked

2017 ranking with more attributes

The following table contains more attributes. The whole table is available in XLS format at The Heritage Foundation web site.[4]

Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Afghanistan48,912,628,427,591,679,997,354,259,969,366,000
 Albania64,454,028,539,786,972,551,579,350,781,487,77070
 Algeria46,538,229,631,781,151,019,862,149,567,063,33530
 Angola48,536,419,812,887,758,670,758,540,470,656,73040
 Argentina50,432,439,638,262,654,656,457,346,150,966,75050
 Armenia70,355,542,543,483,781,782,978,572,472,880,28070
 Australia81,081,792,974,863,259,084,689,384,186,486,28090
 Austria72,386,081,875,250,319,379,776,967,683,487,09070
 Azerbaijan63,650,533,037,687,757,597,471,575,073,674,45550
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Bahamas61,145,348,738,297,183,842,368,571,577,050,65060
 Bahrain68,564,253,755,599,969,812,069,478,780,782,87580
 Bangladesh55,034,926,019,172,894,078,753,468,768,663,65030
 Barbados54,555,533,034,374,039,00,069,667,783,762,27560
 Belarus58,650,956,337,689,848,792,871,374,660,480,63010
 Belgium67,883,369,371,544,19,666,382,061,184,987,08570
 Belize58,643,548,735,081,368,660,562,753,679,670,15050
 Benin59,236,029,431,368,685,971,351,952,485,468,78050
 Bhutan58,460,150,744,783,173,661,772,677,667,160,02030
 Bolivia47,725,715,432,686,149,181,458,935,866,476,0540
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Bosnia and Herzegovina60,241,240,032,783,533,789,347,459,384,086,66560
 Botswana70,158,154,057,677,161,299,468,868,677,983,86570
 Brazil52,955,049,733,470,153,122,861,352,367,069,45050
 Bulgaria67,962,538,941,891,058,486,466,768,383,387,07060
 Burkina Faso59,638,228,431,782,682,588,446,453,384,669,27040
 Burma52,523,012,929,686,281,589,950,177,165,474,22020
 Burundi53,225,719,824,673,869,569,653,567,475,274,25530
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Cambodia59,542,422,112,890,288,195,729,662,081,080,36050
 Cameroon51,843,529,617,475,484,460,944,347,880,153,43550
 Canada78,588,380,881,677,452,380,381,973,177,888,48080
 Cabo Verde56,942,650,241,878,370,71,265,543,286,768,27560
 Central African Republic51,812,633,028,765,894,184,127,242,768,255,28030
 Chad49,030,624,124,646,087,274,627,544,974,354,76040
 Chile76,568,263,770,577,682,296,172,364,382,286,48570
 China57,448,360,741,670,073,092,553,963,471,873,62020
 Colombia69,763,825,239,680,174,289,877,177,977,081,68070
 Comoros55,837,322,630,064,681,298,658,550,681,570,24530
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Democratic Republic of the Congo56,440,648,728,673,494,799,359,938,478,664,63020
 Congo, Republic of40,034,822,630,566,836,211,632,137,576,152,25030
 Costa Rica65,051,655,655,479,488,542,468,153,980,884,77050
 Côte d'Ivoire63,042,645,834,378,484,687,062,150,673,272,37550
 Croatia59,465,556,843,466,831,344,758,243,380,387,47560
 Cuba33,932,410,041,851,30,081,220,020,066,064,51010
 Cyprus67,975,460,753,673,048,872,975,858,683,387,07550
 Czech Republic73,370,355,955,982,945,392,067,277,785,887,08080
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Denmark75,186,768,584,937,25,795,493,985,885,587,09080
 Djibouti46,712,310,332,680,939,513,851,659,075,354,98050
 Dominica63,743,867,740,973,267,572,672,159,089,572,67530
 Dominican Republic62,956,125,330,984,690,290,152,856,276,777,07540
 Ecuador49,338,722,333,979,146,156,455,447,367,769,73540
 Egypt52,635,456,332,786,163,04,666,851,369,670,25540
 El Salvador64,145,335,431,779,085,974,757,354,579,286,58060
 Equatorial Guinea45,035,413,124,675,453,646,450,938,578,353,84030
 Eritrea42,236,410,327,581,374,70,056,769,761,069,2020
 Estonia79,182,682,869,981,255,899,877,056,985,787,09080
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Ethiopia52,732,629,637,677,190,386,550,057,265,765,12020
 Fiji63,467,741,932,780,772,584,161,370,575,568,85550
 Finland74,090,682,790,066,60,077,390,253,485,187,08580
 France63,385,072,769,747,62,057,078,044,181,682,07070
 Gabon58,635,926,737,677,081,096,150,658,483,061,85540
 Gambia53,439,138,838,274,974,33,252,865,663,865,07550
 Georgia76,055,166,565,087,374,493,587,275,978,288,68060
 Germany73,882,979,577,761,941,489,986,642,885,987,08070
 Ghana56,251,640,935,584,576,39,259,657,464,565,17060
 Greece55,052,556,141,361,15,458,174,351,078,282,06040
 Guatemala63,045,027,827,579,294,893,558,748,279,487,06550
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Guinea47,615,613,127,569,178,434,255,854,871,161,25040
 Guinea-Bissau56,133,848,728,789,087,575,346,760,977,765,23030
 Guyana58,537,734,133,968,072,880,963,270,979,870,76030
 Haiti49,612,625,119,180,381,051,849,462,173,870,64030
 Honduras58,845,038,232,283,374,764,156,931,277,378,46560
 Hong Kong SAR89,893,784,080,393,090,0100,094,689,183,290,09090
 Hungary65,860,151,841,579,325,379,364,064,491,787,07570
 Iceland74,485,071,571,570,941,190,690,262,681,288,08060
 India52,655,444,444,377,277,411,052,841,675,072,64040
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Indonesia61,948,339,344,783,689,990,149,148,974,080,53560
 Iran50,532,436,029,681,192,794,964,854,555,554,5010
 IraqN/A37,315,919,1N/A36,111,361,268,076,9N/AN/AN/A
 Ireland76,785,878,378,372,757,160,380,373,687,687,09070
 Israel69,771,982,047,661,050,571,869,964,384,988,07570
 Italy62,574,655,444,754,922,366,969,852,986,987,08550
 Jamaica69,558,061,538,281,077,579,978,973,779,575,38050
 Japan69,689,473,886,168,552,39,582,377,583,082,67060
 Jordan66,760,149,549,891,373,355,563,958,186,782,07060
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Kazakhstan69,056,156,538,093,385,798,974,582,573,978,54050
 Kenya53,545,142,724,778,577,914,450,062,473,867,25550
 Kiribati50,948,033,037,673,60,099,551,571,982,058,22530
 Korea, North4,932,45,011,60,00,00,05,05,00,00,000
 Korea, South74,377,859,967,373,768,997,490,657,084,079,56570
 Kuwait65,155,556,441,397,740,899,861,261,573,678,75560
 Kyrgyz Republic61,150,917,230,393,755,278,973,779,868,575,36050
 Laos54,035,335,932,686,176,661,266,354,470,274,63520
 Latvia74,872,659,767,384,757,495,079,872,086,587,07560
 Lebanon53,343,825,323,391,876,10,051,549,578,484,46550
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Lesotho53,951,650,939,655,70,092,252,257,776,480,25040
 Liberia49,133,641,031,483,660,136,253,148,571,860,15020
 LibyaN/A6,822,626,795011,465,052,569,280,0N/AN/A
 LiechtensteinN/An/an/an/aN/AN/AN/A92,385,7N/A90,08580
 Lithuania75,873,062,469,786,964,193,679,163,690,087,07070
 Luxembourg75,985,877,078,364,546,099,068,643,886,287,09580
 Macau70,760,060,037,172,392,8100,060,050,070,890,08570
 Macedonia70,767,061,452,091,968,972,681,566,780,886,16060
 Madagascar57,434,821,425,091,093,279,843,343,873,378,05550
 Malawi52,236,044,231,379,169,833,545,356,954,770,55550
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Malaysia73,885,367,351,885,378,776,590,873,185,381,26050
 Maldives50,345,133,031,493,051,59,480,670,476,347,83530
 Mali58,636,733,834,369,488,087,844,251,183,070,16540
 Malta67,767,762,953,662,844,985,162,557,283,587,08560
 Mauritania54,422,513,829,281,273,277,164,457,481,962,35040
 Mauritius74,764,472,644,392,081,574,978,268,881,188,78070
 Mexico63,658,138,730,074,976,766,870,757,978,880,07060
 Micronesia54,130,030,040,790,70,098,657,867,783,685,63530
 Moldova58,049,623,928,686,154,890,665,938,972,080,05550
 Mongolia54,851,328,436,887,157,60,067,276,672,374,94560
 Montenegro62,058,050,443,483,133,144,372,067,482,584,77550
 Morocco61,555,041,937,171,769,455,067,733,882,784,07070
 Mozambique49,940,632,430,973,258,222,758,841,079,976,73550
 Namibia62,553,850,641,365,255,666,467,684,477,283,56540
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
   Nepal55,137,332,026,784,989,598,464,647,672,268,11030
 Netherlands75,887,469,985,753,237,083,080,270,585,887,09080
 New Zealand83,796,188,589,970,846,597,891,886,290,187,48080
 Nicaragua59,231,115,927,477,280,896,159,055,671,281,06550
 Niger50,833,822,635,076,373,438,539,146,183,366,45540
 Nigeria57,135,333,212,285,295,287,248,973,971,362,34040
 Norway74,086,783,388,355,638,598,489,548,875,887,77560
 Oman62,160,852,347,698,520,536,368,470,380,685,26560
 Pakistan52,836,434,130,578,987,330,861,237,874,867,25540
 Panama66,361,121,540,985,283,184,974,443,078,477,87570
 Papua New Guinea50,937,754,032,767,864,516,759,867,469,885,42530
 Paraguay62,438,223,332,696,283,095,162,428,578,376,67560
 Peru68,958,328,238,880,385,198,469,462,883,387,17560
 Philippines65,649,237,138,778,989,497,262,657,280,676,46060
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Poland68,360,858,055,576,046,976,167,861,584,787,07570
 Portugal62,673,368,959,059,825,132,186,443,485,987,07060
 Qatar73,174,863,059,099,671,297,468,165,480,683,15560
 Romania69,763,958,545,987,465,390,965,962,583,687,07550
 Russia57,147,644,538,281,861,593,474,850,857,375,23030
 Rwanda67,664,468,845,979,877,383,359,081,880,070,36040
 Saint Lucia65,065,568,839,676,471,653,877,268,782,371,66540
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines65,237,368,847,672,871,766,780,374,582,965,27540
 Samoa58,451,322,637,180,451,966,677,073,384,570,75530
 São Tomé and Príncipe55,437,715,939,787,867,967,165,047,269,671,86530
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 Saudi Arabia64,462,065,045,999,754,565,773,868,570,178,24050
 Senegal55,944,039,342,170,974,351,850,838,986,073,16040
 Serbia58,950,340,238,283,340,346,962,965,980,877,87050
 Seychelles61,855,242,644,378,863,990,763,455,978,383,45530
 Sierra Leone52,637,427,018,981,390,276,249,629,771,169,46020
 Singapore88,697,191,587,990,590,180,795,190,884,390,08580
 Slovak Republic65,769,038,039,679,747,282,964,954,481,187,07570
 Slovenia59,275,055,153,658,728,66,180,660,285,387,07050
 Solomon Islands55,039,341,933,962,834,499,868,570,581,083,01530
 South Africa62,367,659,747,670,268,470,062,058,975,877,34050
 Spain63,671,253,957,262,541,426,966,955,385,587,08570
 Sri Lanka57,448,048,330,085,390,231,272,857,576,074,53540
 Sudan48,831,119,818,986,595,185,553,949,759,350,51520
 Suriname48,045,115,431,770,169,616,248,676,175,168,43030
 Swaziland61,153,533,330,974,871,693,257,564,475,688,95040
 Sweden74,988,682,287,444,421,793,490,853,285,387,08580
  Switzerland81,586,977,680,370,967,595,876,872,284,490,08590
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 SyriaN/A37,322,630,0N/AN/A0,066,455,7N/A56,6N/AN/A
 Taiwan76,586,567,770,575,389,583,793,455,085,286,26560
 Tajikistan58,245,545,632,790,974,195,865,649,269,873,92530
 Tanzania58,633,828,829,280,389,576,650,164,369,676,05550
 Thailand66,251,341,740,781,085,396,369,962,872,982,85060
 Timor-Leste46,36,810,329,264,765,620,072,263,977,580,04520
 Togo53,233,839,936,868,279,845,150,346,277,571,36030
 Tonga63,065,519,847,686,974,479,676,186,080,679,74020
 Trinidad and Tobago61,254,748,736,881,457,751,867,771,475,978,66050
 Tunisia55,749,639,937,373,773,453,480,656,175,963,83530
 Turkey65,261,352,540,775,557,795,764,348,572,279,47560
 Turkmenistan47,432,45,029,695,392,398,930,020,074,880,0010
 Uganda60,939,334,628,773,791,078,142,484,680,378,36040
 Ukraine48,141,422,629,278,638,267,962,148,847,485,92530
 United Arab Emirates76,976,785,074,296,467,499,281,180,978,483,54060
 United Kingdom76,493,893,078,365,141,940,489,972,885,087,09080
 United States75,181,375,178,165,355,953,384,491,080,187,18070
 Uruguay69,770,266,870,377,569,477,274,862,971,380,68530
 Uzbekistan52,348,041,927,590,766,299,864,850,461,166,8010
 Vanuatu67,465,533,070,597,080,499,151,458,174,873,96540
 Venezuela27,06,810,311,672,551,515,239,728,516,860,7010
 Vietnam52,449,732,024,679,674,621,161,262,276,083,12540
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom
 YemenN/A37,322,617,4N/A77,210,651,454,259,7N/AN/AN/A
 Zambia55,849,639,835,073,181,621,666,648,270,778,35550
 Zimbabwe44,027,326,114,761,175,290,636,233,176,552,82510
 SomaliaN/A6,8N/A11,6100N/A0,092,391,8N/AN/AN/AN/A
 Kosovo67,970,358,045,993,577,888,968,865,380,070,86530
 Brunei Darussalam69,862,539,940,985,661,2100,076,690,476,189,16550
Country Name2017 ScoreProperty RightsJudicial StrengthGov't IntegrityTax BurdenGov't SpendingFiscal HealthBusiness FreedomLabor FreedomMonetary FreedomTrade FreedomInvestment FreedomFinancial Freedom

Method

The 2018 ranking scores aspects of economic freedom between 0 and 100, with 0 meaning "no economic freedom" and 100 meaning "total economic freedom". There are twelve aspects divided into four categories.[5]

Rule of law

Property rights

Degree of a country's legal protection of private property rights and degree of enforcement of those laws. It is divided into the following sub-factors:

  1. physical property rights
  2. intellectual property rights
  3. strength of investor protection
  4. risk of expropriation
  5. quality of land administration
Judicial effectiveness

Degree of the judiciary's efficiency and fairness, especially dealing with property laws. It is divided into the following sub-factors:

  1. judicial independence
  2. quality of the judicial process
  3. likelihood of obtaining favorable judicial decisions
Government integrity

Analyzes how prevalent are forms of political corruption and practices such as bribery, extortion, nepotism, cronyism, patronage, embezzlement, and graft. It is divided into the following sub-factors:

  1. public trust in politicians
  2. irregular payments and bribes
  3. transparency of government policymaking
  4. absence of corruption
  5. perceptions of corruption
  6. governmental and civil service transparency

Government size

Tax burden

Analyzes marginal tax rates on personal and corporate income and the overall taxation level (including direct and indirect taxes imposed by all levels of government) as a percentage of the GDP. Its sub-factors are:

  1. top marginal tax rate on individual income
  2. top marginal tax rate on corporate income
  3. total tax burden as a percentage of GDP
Government spending

Quantifies the burden of government expenditures, including consumption by the state and all transfer payments related to various entitlement programs. The ideal level varies from country to country, but zero expenditure is used as a benchmark.

Fiscal health

Analyzes how well a country manages its budget by quantifying the growing debt and deficit. It is divided into the following sub-factors:

  1. average deficits as a percentage of GDP for the most recent three years (80 percent of score)
  2. debt as a percentage of GDP (20 percent of score)

Regulatory efficiency

Business freedom

Analyses the cost, time and freedom to open, operate and close a business, taking into consideration factors like electricity. It is divided into thirteen sub-factors:

  1. starting a business—procedures (number);
  2. starting a business—time (days);
  3. starting a business—cost (% of income per capita);
  4. starting a business—minimum capital (% of income per capita);
  5. obtaining a license—procedures (number);
  6. obtaining a license—time (days);
  7. obtaining a license—cost (% of income per capita);
  8. closing a business—time (years);
  9. closing a business—cost (% of estate);
  10. closing a business—recovery rate (cents on the dollar);
  11. getting electricity—procedures (number);
  12. getting electricity—time (days); and
  13. getting electricity—cost (% of income per capita).
Labor freedom

Quantifies the intrusiveness of labor rights such as minimum wage, laws inhibiting layoffs, severance requirements, and measurable regulatory restraints on hiring and hours worked, plus the labor force participation rate as an indicative measure of employment opportunities in the labor market. It is divided into the following sub-factors:

  1. ratio of minimum wage to the average value added per worker
  2. hindrance to hiring additional workers
  3. rigidity of hours
  4. difficulty of firing redundant employees
  5. legally mandated notice period
  6. mandatory severance pay
  7. labor force participation rate
Monetary freedom

Analyses how stable are prices and how much microeconomy intervenes. It is divided into the following sub-factors:

  1. weighted average inflation rate for the most recent three years
  2. price controls

Market openness

Trade freedom

Quantifies the extent to which tariff and nontariff barriers affect imports and exports of goods and services into and out of the country. Its sub-factors are:

  1. trade-weighted average tariff rate
  2. nontariff barriers (NTBs)
Investment freedom

Analyses how free or constrained is the flow of investment capital of individuals and firms.

Financial freedom

Indicates banking efficiency as well as how independent from the government is the financial sector. This aspect looks at five broad areas:

  1. extent of government regulation of financial services
  2. degree of state intervention in banks and other financial firms through direct and indirect ownership
  3. government influence on the allocation of credit
  4. extent of financial and capital market development
  5. openness to foreign competition

Meaning

The Heritage Foundation reports that the top 20% on the index have twice the per capita income of those in the second quintile, and five times that of the bottom 20%.[6] Carl Schramm, who wrote the first chapter of the 2008 Index, states that cities of Medieval Italy and mid-19th century Midwestern American cities all flourished to the degree they possessed economic fluidity and institutional adaptiveness created by economic freedom.[7]

According to Will Wilkinson of the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, studies show that higher economic freedom correlates strongly with higher self-reported happiness.[8] According to economists Tomi Ovaska and Ryo Takashima, economic freedom research suggests "that people unmistakably care about the degree to which the society where they live provides them opportunities and the freedom to undertake new projects, strongly with and make choices based on one's personal preferences."[9]

According to the Cato Institute, higher economic freedom promotes participation and collaboration.[10] Also claimed is that higher economic freedom is extremely significant in preventing wars; according to their calculations, freedom is around 54 times more effective than democracy (as measured by Democracy Score) in diminishing violent conflict.[11]

Ratings

Since the index was created in 1995, the score for world economic freedom has increased, rising 2.6 points up to 2008.[12] In 2011 the score had decreased from the 2008 score of 60.2 to 59.7, which represents an increase of 2.2 points since 1995. The Economic Freedom score improved for 117 countries, the majority of countries included in the index, which were mainly developing and emerging market economies. With the exception of Europe and North America, there were increased levels of freedom recorded in all regions, with the greatest improvement shown in Sub-Saharan Africa. The top five "free" economies identified by the 2011 index were Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland, each scoring over 80 on the economic freedom grading scale.[13] Since the Index was created in 1995, Hong Kong has been the top performing economy.[13][14]

In 2011, the United States dropped to 9th place behind such countries as Denmark, Canada, and first-place Hong Kong.[13] The Heritage Foundation has pointed to increases in government spending as the reason for the United States' decline, and according to data from the 2011 index, the growth rates of countries with the highest levels of government spending were 4.5 points lower, on average, than countries where government spending was under control.[15] In their "Executive Highlights" of index results, the Heritage Foundation stated that "high levels of government spending in response to the global economic turmoil have not resulted in higher economic growth".[13]

The results from the 2012 index showed an overall decline in global economic freedom; according to The Heritage Foundation, the average score in its ranking was the second lowest of the last ten years.[16] In particular, the U.S. dropped to 10th place in the ranking, and has now fallen three places since 2008, when it was 7th.[17] A report issued by the Foundation stated that government spending was the cause of the decline, and had "not only failed to arrest the economic crisis, but also—in many countries—seems to be prolonging it".[18] According to the report, activity in the private sector is threatened by the greater government spending, which has increased public debt and led to more bureaucracy.[16]

Countries that shared the same rank received a tie score.

Reception

According to the Freedom House, "there is a high and statistically significant correlation between the level of political freedom as measured by Freedom House and economic freedom as measured by the Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation survey."[19] The Millennium Challenge Account, a U.S. government foreign aid program, has used the Trade freedom indicator in determining which countries will receive their performance-based compacts.[20]

Critics such as Jeffrey Sachs have contested the Index's assumption that economic openness necessarily leads to better growth. In his book The End of Poverty, Sachs graphed countries' ratings on the index against GDP per capita growth between 1995 and 2003, claiming to demonstrate no correlation between a country's rating and its rate of economic growth. Sachs pointed out, as examples, that countries with good ratings such as Switzerland and Uruguay had sluggish economic performances, others, like China, with poorer rating had very strong economic growth.[21]

The UAE questioned the rating of their country's economic freedom in 2008, comparing its middling rating with the high rating they had received from other indicators such as Transparency International and Moody's. They also argued that the report is "unreliable", because its methodology had changed twice in the last two years.[22]

Stefan Karlsson of the Ludwig von Mises Institute challenged the usefulness of the index due to the fuzziness of many of the categories used to determine freedom.[23] John Miller roundly criticizes the "Index", writing in Dollars & Sense, "In the hands of the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, Washington's foremost right-wing think tank, however, an economic freedom index merely measures corporate and entrepreneurial freedom from accountability. Upon examination, the index turns out to be a poor barometer of either freedom more broadly construed or of prosperity."[24] According to Left Business Observer, growth in Index accounts for 10% of the variation in the growth of GDP.[25]

Historical rankings

Historical ranks and scores

Key: ██ Free (80–100) ██ Mostly Free (70.0–79.9) ██ Moderately Free (60.0–69.9) ██ Mostly Unfree (50.0–59.9) ██ Repressed (0–49.9)

  2017[26] 2016[27] 2015[28] 2014[29]
Country Rank Score Change in Yearly Score from 2016 Rank Score Change in Yearly Score from 2015 Rank Score Change in Yearly Score from 2014 Rank Score Change in Yearly Score from 2013
 Hong Kong 189.8 1.2 188.6 -1.0 189.6 -0.5 190.1 0.8
 Singapore 288.6 1.2 287.8 -1.6 289.4 -0.5 289.4 0.0
 New Zealand 383.7 2.1 381.6 -0.5 382.1 0.9 581.2 -0.2
  Switzerland 481.5 0.5 481 0.5 580.5 -1.1 481.6 0.6
 Australia 581 0.7 580.3 -1.1 481.4 -0.6 382 -0.6
 Estonia 679.1 1.9 977.2 0.4 876.8 0.9 1175.9 0.6
 Canada 778.5 0.5 678 -1.1 679.1 -1.1 680.2 0.8
 United Arab Emirates 876.9 4.5 2572.4 1 2871.4 0.3 2871.1 1.8
 Ireland 976.7 -0.6 877.3 0.7 976.6 0.4 976.2 0.5
 Chile 1076.5 -1.2 777.7 -0.8 778.5 -0.2 778.7 -0.3
 Taiwan 1176.5 1.8 1474.7 -0.4 1475.1 1.2 1773.9 1.2
 United Kingdom 1276.4 0 1076.4 0.6 1375.8 0.9 1474.9 0.1
 Georgia 1376 3.0 2273 0.4 2272.6 0.4 2172.2 2.8
 Luxembourg 1475.9 2.7 2173.2 -1 1674.2 0 1574.2 -0.3
 Netherlands 1575.8 2.1 1773.7 -0.5 1574.2 0.7 1773.5 0.2
 Lithuania 1675.8 0.6 1375.2 0.5 1574.7 1.7 2173 0.9
 United States 1775.1 -0.3 1175.4 -0.8 1276.2 0.7 1275.5 -0.5
 Denmark 1875.1 -0.2 1275.3 -1.0 1176.3 0.2 1076.1 0
 Sweden 1974.9 2.2 2372.7 -0.4 2073.1 0.2 1872.9 1.2
 Latvia 2074.8 5.1 3769.7 1 4268.7 2.2 5566.5 1.3
 Mauritius 2174.7 0 1574.7 -1.7 1076.4 -0.1 876.5 -0.4
 Iceland 2274.4 2.4 2672 -0.4 2372.4 0.3 2372.1 1.2
 South Korea 2374.3 2.8 2971.5 0.3 3171.2 0.9 3470.3 0.4
 Finland 2474.0 0.6 1973.4 0 1973.4 -0.6 1674 1.7
 Norway 2574 2.2 2771.8 0.9 3270.9 0.4 3170.5 1.7
 Germany 2673.8 0 1673.8 0.4 1873.4 0.6 1972.8 1.8
 Malaysia 2773.8 3 3170.8 1.2 3769.6 3.5 5666.1 -0.3
 Czech Republic 2873.3 0.8 2472.5 0.3 2672.2 1.3 2970.9 1
 Qatar 2973.1 2.3 3270.8 -0.4 3071.2 -0.1 2771.3 0
 Austria 3072.3 1.1 3071.2 -1.2 2472.4 0.6 2571.8 1.5
 North Macedonia 3170.7 3.6 5367.1 -1.5 4368.6 0.4 4368.2 -0.3
 Macau 3270.7 0.4 3470.3 -1 2971.3 -0.4 2671.7 -0.1
 Armenia 3370.3 3.2 5267.1 -1.8 4168.9 -0.5 3869.4 0.6
 Botswana 3471.1 -2.2 3669.8 -2.2 2772 1.4 3070.6 1
 Brunei 3569.8 0.9 3968.9 -0.1 4069-
 Israel 3669.7 -0.8 3370.5 2.1 4468.4 1.5 5166.9 -0.9
 Colombia 3769.7 -2 2871.7 1 3470.7 1.1 3769.6 1.6
 Uruguay 3869.7 1.1 4368.6 -0.7 3869.3 -0.4 3669.7 -0.2
 Romania 3969.7 3.1 5766.6 1.1 6265.5 0.4 5965.1 0.7
 Japan 4069.6 -3.7 2073.3 0.9 2572.4 0.6 2471.8 0.2
 Jamaica 4169.5 1.8 4867.7 1 5666.7 -0.1 5266.8 1.7
 Kazakhstan 4269 5.7 6963.3 -0.4 6763.7 0.7 6863 -0.6
 Peru 4368.9 1.2 4767.7 0.3 4767.4 -0.8 4468.2 -0.5
 Bahrain 4468.5 -4.9 1873.4 -1.7 1375.1 -0.4 1275.5 0.3
 Poland 4568.3 -0.3 4268.6 1.6 5067 1 5766 1.8
 Kosovo 4667.9
 Bulgaria 4767.9 1.1 5566.8 1.1 6165.7 0.7 6065 0.3
 Cyprus 4867.9 0 4567.9 0.3 4667.6 -1.4 4169 -2.8
 Belgium 4967.8 -1 4068.8 -1.1 3569.9 0.7 4069.2 0.2
 Malta 5067.7 1.2 5866.5 0.1 5866.4 -1.1 4767.5 0.5
 Rwanda 5167.6 2.8 6564.8 0.1 6564.7 0.6 6364.1 -0.8
 Vanuatu 5267.4 6.3 8461.1 1.6 9359.5 2.9 10956.6 0
 Jordan 5366.7 -2.6 3869.3 0.1 3969.2 -1.2 3370.4 0.5
 Panama 5466.3 2.2 6864.1 0.7 7163.4 0.9 7162.5 -2.7
 Thailand 5566.2 3.8 7562.4 -0.9 7263.3 -0.8 6164.1 -0.8
 Hungary 5665.8 -1.0 5466.8 -0.2 5167 -0.3 4867.3 0.2
 Slovakia 5765.7 -1.5 5067.2 0.8 5766.4 -2.3 4268.7 1.7
 Philippines 5865.6 3.4 7662.2 2.1 8960.1 1.9 9758.2 1.1
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5965.2 -2.8 4468 1 5267 0.3 5466.7 0.2
 Turkey 6065.2 2 7063.2 -1.7 6464.9 2 6962.9 0.4
 Kuwait 6165.1 2.6 7462.5 0.2 7662.3 -0.8 6663.1 0.6
 Saint Lucia 6265 -5.2 3570.2 -0.5 3370.7 0.3 3270.4 -0.9
 Costa Rica 6365 -2.2 5167.2 0.3 5366.9 -0.1 4967 -1
 Saudi Arabia 6464.4 2.3 7762.1 -0.1 7762.2 1.6 8260.6 -1.9
 Albania 6564.4 -1.3 6365.7 -1.2 5466.9 1.7 5865.2 0.1
 El Salvador 6664.1 -1.6 6265.7 -0.5 5966.2 -0.5 5366.7 -2
 Dominica 6763.7 -2.4 6166.1 0.9 6365.2 1.3 6463.9 2.3
 Azerbaijan 6863.6 2.6 8561 -0.3 8161.3 1.6 8859.7 0.8
 Spain 6963.6 -4.0 4967.6 0.4 4967.2 -0.8 4668 -1.1
 Mexico 7063.6 -2.8 5966.4 -0.4 5566.8 -0.2 5067 1.7
 Fiji 7163.4 4.4 9859 0.3 9958.7 1.5 10557.2 -0.1
 France 7263.3 0.8 7362.5 -1 7063.5 -0.6 6264.1 0.9
 Tonga 7363 3.7 9559.3 1.1 10458.2 2.2 11256 -1
 Guatemala 7463 2.6 8760.4 -0.8 8361.2 1.2 8560 -0.9
 Ivory Coast 7563.0 4.5 10358.5 0.8 10757.7 3.6 12654.1 -0.2
 Dominican Republic 7662.9 1.9 8661 -0.3 8061.3 1.6 8759.7 -0.5
 Portugal 7762.6 -2.7 6465.3 1.8 6963.5 0.4 6763.1 0.1
 Namibia 7862.5 2.9 9359.6 0.2 9459.4 -0.9 8460.3 -1.6
 Italy 7962.5 0.8 8061.7 0.8 8660.9 0.3 8360.6 1.8
 Paraguay 8062.4 1.3 8361.1 -0.9 7862 0.9 8061.1 -0.7
 South Africa 8162.3 -0.3 7262.6 0.1 7562.5 0.7 7461.8 -0.9
 Oman 8262.1 -4.6 5666.7 -0.7 4867.4 -0.7 4568.1 0.2
 Montenegro 8362 -2.7 6664.7 1.1 6863.6 1 7062.6 0.1
 Indonesia 8461.9 3.8 10558.1 -0.4 10058.5 1.6 10856.9 0.5
 Seychelles 8561.8 4.3 11457.5 1.3 11756.2 1.3 12454.9 1.9
 Morocco 8661.5 1.4 8960.1 1.8 10358.3 -1.3 9059.6 -0.6
 Trinidad and Tobago 8761.2 -2.9 6764.1 1.4 7362.7 0.4 7262.3 -2.1
 Eswatini 8861.1 1.2 9159.9 -1.3 8261.2 4 10457.2 0
 Kyrgyzstan 8961.1 -0.2 8261.3 0.2 8561.1 1.5 8959.6 -0.6
 Bahamas 9061.1 -7.6 4168.7 -1.1 3669.8 -0.3 3570.1 2.1
 Uganda 9160.9 1.2 9259.7 -0.2 9159.9 -1.2 7961.1 -0.8
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 9260.2 1.2 9759 0.6 10158.4 1.1 10357.3 0
 Burkina Faso 9359.6 1 10258.6 -0.3 9858.9 -1 8659.9 -0.7
 Cambodia 9459.5 2 11057.5 0.1 10857.4 -1.1 9558.5 0.9
 Croatia 9559.4 -2.1 8161.5 1.1 8760.4 -0.9 7861.3 0.4
 Benin 9659.2 0.4 9958.8 1.7 11357.1 -0.5 10157.6 1.9
 Slovenia 9759.2 -1.1 8860.3 -2.4 7462.7 1 7661.7 -1.2
 Nicaragua 9859.2 1.6 10857.6 -0.8 10258.4 1.8 11056.6 -1.3
 Serbia 9958.9 -1.1 9060 0.6 9559.4 0.8 9458.6 0.6
 Honduras 10058.8 1.4 11657.4 0.3 11257.1 -1.3 9658.4 -0.4
 Belize 10158.6 1.8 11756.8 0.1 11556.7 -0.6 10257.3 -4.6
 Mali 10258.6 2.2 11956.4 0.9 12255.5 -0.9 11156.4 0.6
 Gabon 10358.6 0.3 10458.3 0.5 10557.8 0 9957.8 1.4
 Belarus 10458.6 8.8 15349.8 -0.3 15050.1 2.1 15448 -1
 Tanzania 10558.6 1.1 10957.5 -0.3 10657.8 -0.1 9857.9 0.9
 Guyana 10658.5 3 12355.5 -0.2 12155.7 1.9 12953.8 2.5
 Bhutan 10758.4 1 11557.4 0.7 11656.7 1.7 12255 -1.6
 Samoa 10858.4 -3.5 7861.9 0.8 8461.1 4 10657.1 -3.4
 Tajikistan 10958.2 5.5 14052.7 0.7 13952 -1.4 13153.4 0
 Moldova 11058 0.5 11157.5 0.2 11057.3 1.8 11555.5 1.1
 China 11157.4 4.7 13952.7 0.2 13752.5 0.6 13651.9 0.7
 Sri Lanka 11257.4 -1.2 10158.6 -1.4 9060 -0.7 8160.7 2.4
 Madagascar 11357.4 -4.3 7961.7 0 7961.7 -0.3 7362 -0.4
 Russia 11457.1 5 14352.1 0.2 14051.9 0.8 13951.1 0.6
 Nigeria 11557.1 1.5 12055.6 1.3 12954.3 -0.8 12055.1 -1.2
 Cape Verde 11656.9 -9.5 6066.4 0.3 6066.1 2.4 6563.7 0.2
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 11756.4 13.7 17042.7 -1 16943.7 0.2 16743.5 -0.3
 Ghana 11856.2 -6.8 7163 -1.2 6664.2 2.9 7761.3 0.6
 Guinea-Bissau 11956.1 4.1 14552 0.7 14351.3 0.2 13851.1 1
 Senegal 12055.9 -1.9 10657.8 2.4 12555.4 -0.1 11655.5 0.1
 Comoros 12155.8 3.7 14252.1 0.7 14251.4 3.9 15747.5 1.8
 Zambia 12255.8 -2.9 10058.7 -1.7 8860.4 1.7 9358.7 0.4
 Tunisia 12355.7 -2.0 10757.7 0.4 10957.3 0.3 10757 -1.6
 São Tomé and Príncipe 12455.4 2.1 13653.3 4.5 15748.8 0.8 15348 -2.2
   Nepal 12555.1 3.8 15251.3 1.2 14950.1 -0.3 14150.4 0.2
 Solomon Islands 12655 8 15947 0.8 16546.2 1.2 16545 -1.2
 Greece 12755 1 13054 -1.7 11955.7 0.3 11755.4 0
 Bangladesh 12855 1.1 13153.9 -0.2 13154.1 1.5 13252.6 -0.6
 Mongolia 12954.8 -4.4 9659.2 0.3 9758.9 -2.8 7561.7 0.2
 Barbados 13054.5 -13.4 4667.9 -0.4 4568.3 -1 3969.3 0.3
 Mauritania 13154.4 1.1 13553.3 0.1 13453.2 0.9 13452.3 -0.7
 Federated States of Micronesia 13254.1 4.5 15449.6 -0.2 15349.8 -0.3 14350.1 -0.6
 Laos 13354 2.6 15051.4 0.2 14451.2 1.1 14450.1 0.1
 Lesotho 13453.9 4.3 15549.6 0.1 15449.5 2.4 15547.9 1.3
 Kenya 13553.5 -2.1 12255.6 -1.5 11157.1 1.2 11455.9 -1.6
 Gambia 13653.4 -4.1 11357.5 -2 9259.5 0.7 9258.8 0
 Lebanon 13753.3 -6.0 9459.3 -0.1 9659.4 -0.1 9159.5 -0.6
 Togo 13853.2 0.2 13853 3.1 15249.9 1.1 15048.8 0.5
 Burundi 13953.2 -0.5 13253.7 2.3 14151.4 2.4 14849 0.9
 Brazil 14052.9 -3.7 11856.6 -0.3 11456.9 -0.8 10057.7 -0.2
 Pakistan 14152.8 -2.8 12155.6 0.4 12655.2 0.1 12155.1 0.4
 Ethiopia 14252.7 1.2 14951.5 1.5 15150 0.6 14649.4 -2.6
 India 14352.6 -2 12854.6 -1.1 12055.7 0.5 11955.2 0.6
 Egypt 14452.6 -2.6 12455.2 2.3 13552.9 -1.9 12554.8 -3.1
 Sierra Leone 14552.6 0.9 14751.7 1.2 14850.5 2.2 15148.3 -0.8
 Myanmar 14652.5 5.6 16146.9 0.4 16246.5 7.3 17239.2 0.5
 Vietnam 14752.4 0.7 14851.7 0.9 14750.8 -0.2 14051 -0.3
 Uzbekistan 14852.3 5.3 16047 0.5 16346.5 0.5 16246 0.2
 Malawi 14952.9 -1.9 12654.8 -0.6 12455.4 0.1 11855.3 -1.1
 Cameroon 15051.8 -0.1 14651.9 -0.7 13652.6 0.3 13352.3 0.5
 Central African Republic 15151.8 5.9 16645.9 -0.8 16146.7 -3.7 14250.4 0.1
 Papua New Guinea 15250.9 -2.2 13753.1 -0.8 13253.9 0.3 13053.6 -0.2
 Kiribati 15350.9 4.5 16446.4 0.1 16446.3 0.4 16345.9 -1
 Niger 15450.8 -3.8 12754.6 -0.5 12755.1 1.2 12853.9 -0.4
 Iran 15550.5 8.7 17141.8 1.5 17340.3 -2.9 16843.2 0.9
 Argentina 15650.4 6.3 16944.1 -0.5 16644.6 -2.1 16046.7 -1.3
 Maldives 15750.3 -3.1 13453.4 2.4 14551 2 14949 -0.2
 Mozambique 15849.9 -4.9 12554.8 -0.2 12855 0 12355 -2.1
 Haiti 15949.6 -1.7 15151.3 2.4 15648.9 0.8 15248.1 -2.6
 Ecuador 16049.3 0.1 15649.2 1.2 15948 1.1 15946.9 -1.4
 Liberia 16149.1 -3.6 14152.7 0.3 13852.4 3.1 14749.3 0.7
 Chad 16249 3.1 16545.9 1.4 16744.5 -0.7 16445.2 0.4
 Afghanistan 16348.9
 Angola 16548.5 0.6 15847.9 0.2 16047.7 0.4 15847.3 0.6
 Ukraine 16648.1 1.2 16246.9 -2.4 15549.3 3 16146.3 0.2
 Suriname 16748 -6.2 12954.2 0 13054.2 2.2 13552 -0.6
 Bolivia 16847.7 0.9 16346.8 -1.6 15848.4 0.5 15647.9 -2.3
 Guinea 16947.6 -4.5 14452.1 -1.4 13353.5 2.3 13751.2 0.4
 Turkmenistan 17047.4 6 17241.4 -0.8 17142.2 -0.4 16942.6 -1.2
 Djibouti 17146.7 -10.8 11257.5 1.6 11855.9 2 12753.9 0
 Algeria 17246.5 -2.4 15748.9 -1.9 14650.8 1.2 14549.6 -1.4
 Timor-Leste 17346.3 0.8 16745.5 2.3 17043.2 -0.5 16643.7 0.4
 Equatorial Guinea 17445 4.6 17340.4 -4 16844.4 2.1 17042.3 -0.5
 Zimbabwe 17544 6.4 17537.6 2.1 17635.5 6.9 17528.6 2.3
 Eritrea 17642.2 3.3 17438.9 0.4 17438.5 2.2 17336.3 0.1
 Republic of the Congo 17740 -5 16845 4.4 17240.6 1 17139.6 -1.5
 Cuba 17833.9 4.3 17729.6 0.9 17728.7 0.2 17628.5 0.2
 Venezuela 17927 -7.3 17634.3 -2 17536.3 0.2 17436.1 -2
 North Korea 1804.9 3.6 1781.3 0.3 1781 -0.5 1771.5 0.5
 Yemen 13353.7 -1.8 12355.5 -0.4 11355.9 0.6

Method (old)

The Index's 2008 definition of economic freedom is "the highest form of economic freedom provides an absolute right of property ownership, fully realized freedoms of movement for labor, capital, and goods, and an absolute absence of coercion or constraint of economic liberty beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself."[30]

The index scores nations on ten factors of economic freedom, separated into four categories, using statistics from organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Economist Intelligence Unit and Transparency International. In each factor, countries are scored 0 to 100, with 0 being the least free and 100 the most free. A score of 100 signifies an economic environment or set of policies that is most conducive to economic freedom.[30] The methodology has shifted and changed as new data and measurements have become available, especially in the area of Labor Freedom, which was given its own indicator spot in 2007.[2] The following list explains what each factor currently assesses and groups them according to their respective category:

Rule of Law
Limited Government
  • Fiscal Freedom: How free is a country from tax burden. It comprises three quantitative measures: top marginal tax rate of both individual (1) and corporate (2) income, and total tax burden as a percentage of GDP (3).
  • Government Size/Spending: Governments' expenditures as a percentage of GDP, including consumption and transfers. The higher the percentual spending, the lower the score.
Regulatory Efficiency
  • Business Freedom: A country's freedom from the burden of regulations on starting, operating, and closing business, given factors such as time, cost and number of procedures, as well as the efficiency of government in the regulatory process.
  • Labor Freedom: How free is a country from legal regulation on the labor market, including those relating to minimum wages, hiring and firing, hours of work and severance requirements.
  • Monetary Freedom: How free from microeconomic intervention and price instability is a country, basing on an equation considering the weighted average inflation rate in the last three years and price controls.
Open Markets
  • Trade Freedom: Freedom from sizeable numbers and burdens of tariffs and non-tariff barriers to imports and exports of a country.
  • Investment Freedom: Freedom from restrictions on the movement and use of investment capital, regardless of activity, within and across the country's borders.
  • Financial Freedom: A country's independence from government control and interference in the financial sector, including banks. It considers government ownership of financial firms, extent of financial and capital market development, government influence on the allocation of credit and openness to foreign competition.

Historical positions (1995–2008)

Country/Region 20082007200620052004200320022001200019991998199719961995
 Hong Kong[lower-alpha 1]11111111111111
 Ireland33344443101111132720
 Australia44798101185579108
 United States56557786878854
 New Zealand6543333433333
 Canada710101212131421202527262018
 Chile888811129121212971314
  Switzerland99965661064444
 United Kingdom107679977465573
 Denmark11121313172023333332343031
 Estonia12111514108109241315243826
 Netherlands13151618141414162157242023
 Iceland141311101916191515191819
 Luxembourg151412116555715131215
 Finland16161721161516275054553947
 Japan171818365034392319272121146
 Mauritius18323535515233453620
 Bahrain19242322131112111186665
 Belgium20172430303334575560484436
 Barbados21272024282317202737334653
 Cyprus22202120151920223533292730
 Germany2322252827262529434052292517
 The Bahamas2419191520171514161010101111
 Taiwan25252919262122181718202297
 Lithuania262122231827435367677478104
 Sweden2733272724242443475153535541
 Armenia28301425233732466296117123125
 Trinidad and Tobago29232617212926191316171624
 Austria3026303432353637315343402616
 Spain3128323129282936414562686534
 Georgia32315493788410487107114122125123
 El Salvador33292816222221179922182119
 Norway34373445423937412229314139
 Slovakia353633424877768510810585857546
 Botswana3635312625304242425960725657
 Czech Republic3739404735364026302328542923
 Latvia38383739334452445750565786
 Kuwait39414148554346352524384235
 Uruguay4034433337253024283026314637

See also

References

  1. "Executive Summary" (PDF). Index of Economic Freedom. 15 January 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  2. William Beach, Time Kane (15 January 2008). "Methodology; Measuring the 10 Economic Freedoms" (PDF). Index of Economic Freedom. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  3. Heritage - Country Rankings
  4. Economic Freedom Index - Downloads
  5. Methodology | 2018 Index of Economic Freedom Book
  6. Mary Anastasia O'Grady (15 January 2008). "The Real Key to Development". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  7. Carl J. Schramm (15 January 2008). "Chapter 1 Economic Fluidity: A Crucial Dimension of Economic Freedom" (PDF). The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  8. "In Pursuit of Happiness Research: Is It Reliable? What Does It Imply for Policy?", Will Wilkinson, The Cato institute, Policy Analysis No. 590, 11 April 2007
  9. Ovaska Tomi, Takashima Ryo (2006). "Economic policy and the level of self-perceived well-being: An international comparison". The Journal of Socio-Economics. 35 (2): 308–325. doi:10.1016/j.socec.2005.11.054.
  10. More Freedom = More Happiness Archived 29 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Public Issues, Libertad Desarrollo, No. 750, 23 January 2006, ISSN 0717-1528
  11. "Chapter2: Economic Freedom and Peace" Archived 16 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Erik Gartzke, in Economic Freedom of the World: 2005 Annual Report, James Gwartney and Robert Lawson, Fraser Institute, 30 August 2005
  12. Barry Wood (15 January 2008). "Economic Freedom Holding Steady, 14th Index of Economic Freedom Shows". PR Newswire. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  13. "Executive Highlights" (PDF). The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation. 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  14. Ed Feulner (22 January 2008). "Football and economic freedom". IndyStar. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  15. Miller, Terry (2011). "The Limits of Government" (PDF). Heritage.org. The Heritage Foundation. p. 13. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  16. "Global economic freedom dipped last year, annual survey says; Hong Kong remains world's freest". Washington Post. Associated Press. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  17. Edwin Feulner (17 January 2012). "Still in top 10, but falling fast". The Washington Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  18. Edwin J. Feulner (12 January 2012). "A Step Backward for Economic Freedom in 2012". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  19. Adrian Karatnycky. Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties. Transaction Publishers. 2001. ISBN 978-0-7658-0101-2. p. 11
  20. "Report on the Criteria and Methodology for Determining the Eligibility of Candidate Countries for Millennium Challenge Account Assistance during Fiscal Year 2008" (PDF). Millennium Challenge Corporation. 1 September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  21. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for our Time, Jeffrey Sachs, Penguin Books, 2005, ISBN 1-59420-045-9, pp. 320–321.
  22. "UAE challenges its economic freedom ranking in paper by Heritage Foundation". Business Intelligence Middle East. 31 January 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  23. Stefan Karlsson (21 January 2005). "The Failings of the Economic Freedom Index". Mises Daily. Ludwig von Mises Institute. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  24. "Free, Free at Last", John Miller, Dollars and Sense, No. 258, March/April 2005
  25. "Laissez-faire Olympics, an LBO special report", Left Business Observer, 26 March 2005
  26. "2017 IEF (XLS) table download". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  27. "2016 IEF (XLS) table download". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  28. "2015 IEF (XLS) table download". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  29. "2014 IEF (XLS) table download". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  30. "Frequently Asked Questions". Index of Economic Freedom. 15 January 2008. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.

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