Economic Freedom of the World Report 2012: How Does the U.S. Rank?

The United States has fallen in the economic freedom rankings consistently for the last decade.

HierarchyIt is the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth this year, adding particular significance to the release of the Economic Freedom of the World Report, which Friedman was instrumental in creating.

The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, recently announced the release. The report is supported by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as the Searle Freedom Trust. Authors and contributors hailed from a variety of institutions, including Florida State University, Southern Methodist University, Beloit College, the Cato Institute, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.

The report ranks countries, measuring “the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom.” The report is compiled using 42 variables to measure economic freedom across five areas.

The global economic crisis is mentioned early on in the report as a factor in the decline in overall economic freedom between 2007 and 2009 and the slight uptick most recently. The authors write that “responses to the economic crisis have reduced economic freedom in the short term and perhaps prosperity over the long term, but the upward movement this year is encouraging.”

Top Ten Most Economically Free Nations:

  1. Hong Kong, China
  2. Singapore
  3. New Zealand
  4. Switzerland
  5. Australia
  6. Canada
  7. Bahrain
  8. Mauritius
  9. Finland
  10. Chile

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Source: Emi Kolawole | The Washington Post