We’re free!

New Zealand has topped the Human Freedom Index:

Until now, no global index measuring human freedom consistent with a classical liberal approach has existed. Today, as part of the Human Freedom project sponsored by Cato, the Fraser Institute, and the Liberales Institut, . . .

Using indicators consistent with the concept of negative liberty—the absence of coercive constraint—we have tried to capture the degree to which people are free to enjoy classic liberties in each country: freedom of speech, religion, individual economic choice, and association and assembly. The freedom index is composed of 76 distinct variables including measures of safety and security, freedom of movement, and relationship freedoms such as assembly or legal discrimination against gays.

In this preliminary index New Zealand ranks as the most free country in the world, followed by the Netherlands and then Hong Kong. Australia, Canada, and Ireland follow, with the United States ranking in 7th place. . . .

The index is a chapter in Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom (.pdf) (published by Fraser and Liberales) which has the following table. It shows the rankings, the numbers are the ratings for personal freedom, economic freedom and the freedom index:

1 New Zealand 9.2 8.22 8.73
2 Netherlands 9.5 7.45 8.47
3 Hong Kong 7.8 9.02 8.39
4 Australia 8.8 7.83 8.33
5 Canada 8.7 7.92 8.33
6 Ireland 9.0 7.68 8.33
7 United States of America 8.7 7.93 8.30
8 Denmark 8.9 7.71 8.30
9 Japan 9.2 7.38 8.28
10 Estonia 8.9 7.65 8.28
11 Switzerland 8.6 7.96 8.26
12 Norway 9.2 7.34 8.26
13 Finland 8.8 7.54 8.16
14 Austria 8.7 7.59 8.13
15 Luxembourg 8.7 7.53 8.12
16 Chile 8.2 7.99 8.12
17 Iceland 9.0 7.16 8.10
18 United Kingdom 8.4 7.78 8.08
19 Slovakia 8.6 7.57 8.07
20 Costa Rica 8.8 7.35 8.05
21 El Salvador 8.5 7.58 8.04
22 Uruguay 9.4 6.67 8.03
23 Spain 8.8 7.19 8.00
24 Albania 8.6 7.38 7.98
25 Portugal 8.9 7.08 7.97
26 Bahamas 8.8 7.08 7.94
27 Malta 8.8 7.06 7.94
28 Panama 8.5 7.32 7.92
29 Sweden 8.6 7.26 7.91
30 Mauritius 8.1 7.61 7.88
31 Hungary 8.4 7.39 7.87
32 Belgium 8.5 7.14 7.83
33 France 8.4 7.20 7.78
34 Czech Republic 8.7 6.88 7.78
35 Germany 8.0 7.47 7.75
36 Guatemala 8.3 7.15 7.73
37 Poland 8.6 6.88 7.73
38 Peru 8.0 7.36 7.68
39 Singapore 6.6 8.75 7.67
40 Italy 8.5 6.75 7.62
41 Lithuania 8.2 7.03 7.61
42 Bulgaria 8.0 7.18 7.60

43 Slovenia 8.5 6.61 7.56
44 Korea, Republic of 7.7 7.33 7.53
45 Cyprus 7.6 7.50 7.53
46 Jamaica 8.0 6.97 7.48
47 Taiwan 7.4 7.56 7.48
48 Latvia 7.9 6.98 7.44
49 Papua New Guinea 7.8 6.94 7.39
50 Brazil 8.5 6.18 7.35
51 Haiti 8.0 6.68 7.34
52 Honduras 7.5 7.12 7.31
53 Nicaragua 7.8 6.85 7.30
54 Paraguay 7.9 6.62 7.27
55 Ghana 7.3 7.17 7.23
56 Argentina 8.4 6.01 7.22
57 Croatia 7.9 6.54 7.20
58 Thailand 7.3 7.06 7.17
59 Guyana  7.6 6.74 7.16
60 Trinidad and Tobago  7.5 6.78 7.13
61 Fiji  7.7 6.56 7.11
62 Namibia  7.6 6.61 7.10
63 Belize  7.5 6.72 7.09
64 Bolivia  8.0 6.15 7.07
65 Greece  7.1 6.92 7.03
66 Romania  7.6 6.43 7.03
67 Philippines  7.3 6.76 7.02
68 Mexico  7.1 6.88 7.00
69 South Africa  7.3 6.55 6.94
70 Madagascar  7.5 6.28 6.88
71 Botswana  6.8 6.89 6.85
72 Dominican Republic  7.5 6.22 6.84
73 Ecuador  7.6 6.04 6.80
74 Bahrain  6.3 7.23 6.74
75 Oman  6.0 7.50 6.74
76 Barbados  7.4 5.97 6.68
77 Mali  7.2 6.15 6.66
78 Zambia  6.1 7.27 6.66
79 Ukraine  7.5 5.46 6.49
80 Rwanda  6.3 6.61 6.44
81 Colombia  6.6 6.24 6.41
82 Jordan  5.6 7.18 6.38
83 Turkey  5.8 6.91 6.37
84 Indonesia  6.2 6.49 6.36
85 Kuwait  5.2 7.50 6.35
86 United Arab Emirates  5.2 7.45 6.31

87 Benin  7.1 5.49 6.27
88 Malawi  6.6 5.95 6.27
89 Russia  5.9 6.57 6.25
90 Guinea-Bissau  7.4 4.93 6.15
91 Kenya  5.2 7.00 6.12
92 India  5.6 6.48 6.06
93 Morocco  5.8 6.29 6.04
94 Uganda  4.9 7.15 6.00
95 Tanzania  6.0 5.94 5.96
96 Egypt  5.0 6.82 5.93
97 Nepal  6.3 5.44 5.89
98 Senegal  6.2 5.56 5.88
99 Malaysia  5.0 6.71 5.84
100 China  5.1 6.44 5.76
101 Congo, Republic of  6.7 4.77 5.73
102 Niger  6.1 5.35 5.71
103 Sierra Leone  6.0 5.37 5.68
104 Nigeria  5.4 5.93 5.68
105 Israel  4.4 6.86 5.60
106 Togo  5.5 5.62 5.54
107 Gabon  5.4 5.64 5.54
108 Cote d’Ivoire  5.3 5.67 5.48
109 Venezuela  6.5 4.35 5.42
110 Tunisia  4.7 6.00 5.36
111 Bangladesh  4.7 5.95 5.31
112 Central African Republic  5.2 5.16 5.18
113 Chad  4.8 5.35 5.07
114 Cameroon  4.2 5.86 5.03
115 Burundi  5.2 4.65 4.93
116 Iran  3.6 6.08 4.83
117 Algeria  4.5 5.02 4.77
118 Congo, Democratic Republic of  4.7 4.84 4.76
119 Syria  4.3 5.07 4.67
120 Sri Lanka  3.4 5.89 4.64
121 Pakistan  3.1 5.80 4.47
122 Burma  4.0 3.49 3.72
123 Zimbabwe  3.2 3.57 3.38
Average  7.1 6.7 6.9
Median  7.5 6.9 7.1

Offsetting Behaviour has a post on the index and Kiwi Freedom.

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3 Responses to We’re free!

  1. Andrei says:

    While I’ll agree New Zealand is a benign place to live such indices reflect the values of those that come up with them rather than an objective reality.

    It is all a matter of how much the restrictions placed upon us chafe I suppose.

    In actual fact the freest country on the planet is not even on the list. That would be Somalia where you can do exactly as you please provided you have the muscle to enforce it.

  2. TraceyS says:

    Choice! My favourite thing in the world!

    We should celebrate this good position.

  3. JC says:

    But Israel is 105 on the list, and the US 7th, so I would be cautious about this list. Israel is a full fledged democracy operating under permanent war conditions.. so its position doesn’t recognise this.. OTOH, the US jails you for photographing cops beating innocent people and Congress has 50% millionaires compared to 1% of the general population.. it isn’t a representative democracy.

    JC

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