2019 Index of Economic Freedom

The Countries

The Index of Economic Freedom analyzes 12 factors under four pillars underpinning economic freedom in countries throughout the world.

Of the 186 countries included in this 25th edition of the Index, 180 are fully scored and ranked. Because of the lack of sufficient reliable data, six countries (Iraq, Libya, Liechtenstein, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) are evaluated and partially graded but not ranked.

For analytical understanding and presentational clarity, the 12 economic freedoms are grouped into the following four pillars of economic freedom:

Rule of law (property rights, judicial effectiveness, and government integrity);

Government size (tax burden, government spending, and fiscal health);

Regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, and monetary freedom); and

Market openness (trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom).

Ranked countries are given an overall score ranging from 0 to 100 on each of the 12 components of economic freedom, and these scores are then averaged, using equal weights, to compute a country’s final economic freedom score.

The country profiles in the Index provide real-world examples of the impact of government policies on the economic well-being of individuals and families. Policies that enhance economic freedom tend to be associated with greater economic and social progress. Countries with high levels of economic freedom have high levels of political stability and higher levels of income. Their citizens typically enjoy greater social mobility and work environments that are characterized by high levels of innovation and experimentation. Such economies are following not just one path to development, but rather as many as human ingenuity can produce. By contrast, countries in which freedom is curtailed occupy the lower spectrums of economic and social development.

In addition to the scores and rankings, each country page provides a brief overview of the economic and political background that may have influenced the country’s performance, as well as a statistical profile that includes the country’s key economic and demographic indicators.

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    • work: 202.608.6145

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