2015 Index of Economic Freedom


The Index of Economic Freedom is a product of intense collaboration with people and organizations around the world. While it is impossible to mention all of those who have contributed to our success, we wish to express our gratitude to the myriad individuals serving with various international organizations, research institutions, U.S. government agencies, foreign embassies, and other organizations who provide the data used in the Index. Assistance from them is vital and greatly appreciated.

The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Trade and Economics (CTE) leads the Index production effort. The CTE team of James Roberts, Bryan Riley, and Ryan Olson shared with us the responsibility for grading the 10 components of economic freedom. CTE interns Fan Mo, Tori Whiting, Ashley Wright, Bridget Mudd, Elizabeth Allen, Andy Marguiles, Preston Turner, and Charlotte Howson contributed substantial research.

Various Heritage Foundation foreign policy experts who provided country backgrounds informed by their regional and country expertise include Lisa Curtis, Bruce Klingner, Bill Wilson, and Director Walter Lohman of the Asian Studies Center; Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom; and Charlotte Florance, James Phillips, and Ana Quintana of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy.

The Index of Economic Freedom is a substantial publication that is brought to print each year by an incredibly talented team of editors and production specialists. We wish to express our deepest appreciation to Senior Editor Richard Odermatt, who is responsible for final review of the completed text, and Senior Copy Editor William T. Poole, who bears the primary responsibility for perfecting the language we employ, as well as Therese Pennefather, Deputy Director of Research Editing, and Senior Data Graphics Editor John Fleming. Creative Director Melissa Bluey and Jay Simon, Publication Production Specialist, were responsible for the design and layout of the book.

The availability of the entire Index and its database online at www.heritage.org/index has greatly expanded the publication’s reach and accessibility over the past years. The transposition to the Web each year would not be possible without the expertise of Director of Marketing Technology Tim McGovern and his team, including Roger Spurzem, Maria Sousa, Isabel Isidro, Jeph Christoff, Joe Perez, Catherine Dugyon, and former Heritage staffer Jim Lawruk.

Jack Spencer, Vice President for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, and Dr. James Carafano, Vice President for the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, provide substantial help and advice in connection with many aspects of Index production and marketing. We are also grateful for the contributions to our work over the past year of Derrick Morgan, former Vice President for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity.

Senator Jim DeMint, President of The Heritage Foundation, and Phil Truluck, Executive Vice President of The Heritage Foundation, have been enthusiastic supporters and great sources of encouragement in producing this annual publication. The ongoing support from Group Vice Presidents David Addington, Ed Corrigan, John Fogarty, and Geoff Lysaught; Vice Presidents Becky Norton Dunlop, John Von Kannon, Wesley Denton, and Matt Streit; and Chief of Staff Bret Bernhardt is sincerely appreciated.

We also wish to acknowledge our enduring debt to Chairman Thomas A. Saunders III and the Heritage Board of Trustees, and particularly to Ambassador J. William Middendorf II, who originally encouraged us to undertake such a study of global economic freedom. We remain deeply indebted to Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, Founder and former President of The Heritage Foundation, and Heritage Distinguished Fellow Dr. Kim R. Holmes, who was a founding editor of the Index. Without their vision and insight, this project could never have become a reality and achieved such success over the past 21 years.

Very special thanks also go to Paul Gigot and Mary Anastasia O’Grady at The Wall Street Journal, whose partnership and support we truly cherish.

Ambassador Terry Miller
Anthony B. Kim
November 2014

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