The Fraser Institute released its “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.” The report analyzed data from 144 countries based on 42 distinct variables, the study’s authors rank countries according to their relative level of economic freedom.
After ranking 2nd in 2000, the U.S. falls to 18th in this year’s report. As the authors explain:
“The United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th). By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar, countries that are not usually perceived of as bastions of economic freedom.”
The Fraser Institute’s full report is available below.
The Role of Economic Freedom
According to the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, a joint publication of The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, global economic freedom has declined over the past year. But what does this mean for America and the world?
Economic freedom empowers ordinary people with greater opportunity and individual choice, and it lets people decide for themselves how best to achieve their highest aspirations. From the amount a government spends, to the individual property rights extended to its citizens, a nation’s economic freedom is closely tied to key values like the elimination of poverty and freedom from corruption.
Visit https://www.heritage.org/index for a complete list of current rankings and to learn more about economic freedom.