2014 Index of Economic Freedom


overall scoreN/A
world rank
Rule of Law

Property RightsN/A

Freedom From Corruption9.8

Limited Government

Government Spending90.3

Fiscal Freedom85.1

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom54.5

Labor Freedom49.1

Monetary Freedom55.8

Open Markets

Trade Freedom55.6

Investment Freedom15.0

Financial FreedomN/A

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 33.5 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $85.3 billion
    • -4.4% growth
    • 0.8% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $2,545 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 10.8%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 35.6%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $2.5 billion
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Sudan’s economic freedom remains unrated due to the lack of reliable data. Those facets of economic freedom for which data are available have been individually scored. The last time Sudan was fully graded was in 2000, when it received a score of 47.2.

Sudan’s economic freedom was assessed for the first six years of the 20-year history of the Index. Since 2000, when the country reached its highest economic freedom score, grading of Sudan has been suspended due to its internal conflicts and the deficient availability of economic data. Despite the political settlement that established a breakaway Republic of Sudan in July 2011, security and political uncertainty remain formidable challenges. The rule of law remains fragile and uneven.

Outside of the hydrocarbon sector, economic development is very limited by the ongoing instability in Sudan. Attempts to develop and diversify the economy are constrained by a lack of basic institutional capacity. The large informal economy has been an important source of employment in the fragile economy.



In April 2010, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 military coup, won Sudan’s first multi-party elections in 24 years. Even as president, however, he still faces a 2009 indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur, where over 2 million people were displaced and over 200,000 killed. In July 2011, southern Sudan became the independent Republic of Sudan, also known as South Sudan. Cross-border violence, political instability, poor infrastructure, weak property rights, a 46 percent unemployment rate, and corruption hinder development in Sudan. Export growth, other than oil, is largely stagnant, and 80 percent of the workforce is employed in agriculture. With two-thirds of its oil revenue lost to the South, Sudan is struggling to maintain economic stability and has begun austerity measures to reduce spending.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights N/A Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 9.8 Create a Graph using this measurement

Sudan is considered one of the world’s most corrupt countries. Power and resources are concentrated in and around Khartoum, and outlying states are neglected and impoverished. Members of the ruling party tightly control the national economy and use their wealth to buy political support. There is little respect for private property, and the legal framework is severely hampered by years of political conflict.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top individual income tax rate has been increased to 15 percent. Corporate tax rates differ by sector, but the top rate is 35 percent for companies engaged in the oil and gas sector, a major part of the economy. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and a capital gains tax. Overall tax revenue amounts to 6.7 percent of GDP. Government spending is 18 percent of gross domestic income. Public debt is close to 100 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Launching a business takes 10 procedures and more than a month on average. Completing licensing requirements still costs over twice the level of average annual income. The labor market remains underdeveloped, and much of the labor force is employed in the informal sector. In 2013, the government made dramatic cuts in fuel and other subsidies in the face of a runaway budget deficit, sparking violent demonstrations.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Sudan’s average tariff rate is 14.7 percent. Violence and instability interfere with trade and investment flows. Foreign investment is not allowed in several sectors of the economy. A large portion of the population remains outside of the formal banking sector, and access to credit remains severely limited. The government continues to direct the allocation of credit, and non-performing loans are a problem.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Sudan Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Sudan to other economic country groups

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
3Cape Verde66.12.4
6South Africa62.50.7
11The Gambia59.50.7
13Burkina Faso58.9-1.0
16Côte d'Ivoire 57.73.6
25Mozambique 550.0
34Sierra Leone50.52.2
38São Tomé and Príncipe 48.80.8
40Central African Republic46.7-3.7
42Equatorial Guinea44.42.1
43Republic of Congo 43.70.2
44Democratic Republic of Congo40.61.0
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