Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The World’s Freest Nation?

August 16, 2021 by Dan Mitchell

When writing Friday’s column about Somalia, I noticed that I have not written about the Human Freedom Index (HFI) since 2016 and 2018.  Let’s rectify that oversight by highlighting the results from the most-recent edition of that publication.   But first, some background. The Human Freedom Index is 50-percent-based on the data from Economic Freedom of the World and 50-percent-based on a set of variables that measure personal liberty.

Back in 2016, the world’s freest nation wasn’t actually a nation. It was Hong Kong, the autonomous (at the time) region of China. Switzerland was in second place, followed by New Zealand, Ireland, and Denmark (the United States was 23rd). And in 2018, the top five were New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada (the United States was 17th). The newest edition of the HFI shows that things have not changed much. New Zealand is still at the top, narrowly edging out Switzerland.

Hong Kong is next, followed by Denmark and Australia. Here are the top-10 jurisdictions..............As a general rule, there’s a reasonably strong correlation between economic freedom and personal freedom.  Nations that have one tend to have the other.......By the way, Hong Kong’s score seems improbably high, but that’s because the report is based on data through 2018.By contrast, is anybody surprised that Venezuela has suffered the biggest decline? The only good news (grading on a curve) is that Venezuela isn’t in last place in the HFI because Sudan and Syria are slightly more oppressive.............To Read More.....




 

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