Economic Freedom of the World

September 25, 2013

The Cato Institute released its annual report on the Economic Freedom of the World for 2013. This report, started in 1996 with data reaching back to 1980, measures "the consistency of the institutions and policies of various countries with voluntary exchange and the other dimensions of economic freedom." Notable in this year's report is that global economic freedom rose slightly, while the United States' rating declined slightly in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.

  • From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Since 2000, the United States has fallen from a rating of 8.65 to 7.74.
  • Ranked against other nations, the United States is 17th in terms of economic freedom.
  • Top scoring nations include Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Finland, Bahrain, Canada and Australia.
  • Other notable rankings include the United Kingdom (12th), Germany (19th), Japan (33rd), France (40th), Italy (83rd), Mexico (94th), Russia (101st), Brazil (102nd), India (111th) and China (123rd).

Nations scoring in the top quartile had an average gross domestic product per capita more than eight times higher than nations in the bottom quartile, with the average income of the nation's poorest 10 percent being 11 times higher in the top quartile. Life expectancy is nearly two decades longer in free nations than unfree nations.

Source: "Economic Freedom of the World," Cato Institute, September 2013.

 

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