New Study Reveals the Current State of Global Economic Freedom

Economic freedoms are a core part of liberal countries because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up facilitating easy trade and growth. The Heritage Foundation just revealed the state of economic freedom around the world, providing some insights into which countries are performing better than others with all things having been considered and taken into account.

It turns out that Singapore sits at the very top of this list with a score of 83.9 out of a maximum possible total of 100. Switzerland was close at its heels with a score of 83.8, followed by Ireland with 82 points. Taiwan was the only other country to surpass the 80 point mark, getting 80.7 points in total.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that these scores were aggregated based on four categories. These categories were then further subdivided into three indicators. The first of these categories is Rule of Law, with property rights, judicial effectiveness and government integrity serving as key indicators in that respect.

The second category was that of government size. Tax burdens, fiscal health and government spending all factored into this area. Following that we have regulatory efficiency, which included the key indicators of labor, monetary and business freedoms. Finally the fourth category of open markets is composed of financial, trade and investment freedoms that can make it easier to do business than might have been the case otherwise.

Europe was the best performing region by far, with seven of the top ten countries hailing from that continent. On the other end of the spectrum was Africa, with five of the ten worst ranking countries being located on the continent. Some countries like Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan were not ranked due to the difficulties in obtaining useful data from those regions.

At the very bottom of the list was the dictatorial East Asian nation of North Korea which managed to get a paltry score of just 2.9 out of 100. Cuba was second last, more specifically in 175th place, with a score of 24.3. Venezuela did not far much better with 25.8, and three African nations just barely squeezed past it, namely Sudan with a score of 32.8, Zimbabwe with 39 and Eritrea with 39.5.

The US is popularly believed to be the country with the highest possible amount of economic freedoms, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, it ranked 25th in the world with a score of 70.6. It didn’t even rank first in its region, with Canada and Chile both outranking it in the Americas with scores of 73.7 and 71.1 respectively.

Moving over to Asia and Oceania, Australia and New Zealand unsurprisingly came out on top with scores of 74.8 and 78.9 apiece. However, Taiwan managed to surpass them both with its 80.7 score, and South Korea also does admirably with a score of 73.7. Singapore’s 83.9 score makes the East Asian region a particularly useful locale for people who are looking to freely conduct their business, although Japan mirrored America by defying expectations with a surprisingly low score of 69.3.
H/T: Visualcapitalist

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