2021 Index of Economic Freedom

Mauritius

OVERALL SCORE77.0
WORLD RANK13
Rule of Law

Property Rights78.4

Judicial Effectiveness73.6

Government Integrity55.0

Government Size

Tax Burden91.6

Government Spending78.0

Fiscal Health73.5

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom83.7

Labor Freedom74.6

Monetary Freedom77.4

Open Markets

Trade Freedom88.0

Investment Freedom80.0

Financial Freedom70.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 1.3 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $31.6 billion
    • 3.5% growth
    • 3.7% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $23,942 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 6.7%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 0.5%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $472.3 million

Mauritius’s economic freedom score is 77.0, making its economy the 13th freest in the 2021 Index. Its overall score has increased by 2.1 points, primarily because of an improvement in labor freedom. Mauritius is ranked 1st among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.

This year, Mauritius solidified its ranking as the economically freest nation in the sub-Saharan Africa region. To achieve membership in the highest Index category (free), the government would have to build on its successes and redouble its efforts to correct its ongoing deficit in government integrity, which persists at a troubling level that is more typical of countries that are ranked much lower overall in economic freedom.

IMPACT OF COVID-19: As of December 1, 2020, 10 deaths had been attributed to the pandemic in Mauritius, and the economy was forecast to contract by 14.2 percent for the year.

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Background

Mauritius gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1968. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, a former president, became prime minister for the third time in 2014 but resigned in 2017 in favor of his son Pravind, whose party won a rare parliamentary majority in 2019. Mauritius has undergone a remarkable economic transformation from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified, upper-middle-income country that has attracted considerable foreign investment and has one of the Africa region’s highest per capita GDPs. The government is trying to modernize the sugar and textile industries while promoting diversification into such other areas as information technology and financial and business services. Services and tourism remain important economic drivers, and maritime security is a priority.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 78.4 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 73.6 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 55.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Property rights are respected, and the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report ranked Mauritius 23rd out of 190 countries for ease of property registration. Under a legacy hybrid French–British legal system, the judiciary has generally maintained its independence. The prevalence of corruption is low by regional standards, but graft and nepotism remain concerns and are increasingly a source of public frustration.

Government SizeView Methodology

The personal income and corporate tax rates are a flat 15 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden equals 19.8 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 27.1 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 3.4 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 62.5 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Mauritius has improved its protocols for continuation of business during insolvency proceedings. The time needed to apply for a wastewater connection has been shortened. Required severance pay for redundancy dismissals has been greatly reduced, increasing employers’ willingness to hire. According to an IMF budget projection, total government grants, transfers, and subsidies amounted to 4.8 percent of the 2019–2020 budget.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Mauritius has five preferential trade agreements in force. The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 1.0 percent, and 12 nontariff measures are in effect. An efficient and transparent investment framework supports foreign investment inflows. The open investment regime is underpinned by a nondiscriminatory legal system. Private banks dominate the financial sector, and about 90 percent of adult Mauritians have access to a bank account.

Country's Score Over Time

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Regional Ranking

RANK COUNTRY OVERALL CHANGE
1Mauritius772.1
2Rwanda68.3-2.6
3Botswana67.6-2.0
4Seychelles66.32.0
5Cabo Verde63.80.2
6Namibia62.61.7
7Côte d'Ivoire61.72.0
8Tanzania61.3-0.4
9South Africa59.70.9
10Benin59.64.4
11Ghana59.2-0.2
12The Gambia58.82.5
13Nigeria58.71.5
14Uganda58.6-0.9
15Gabon58.11.4
16Senegal580.0
17Madagascar57.7-2.8
18Togo57.53.4
19Niger57.32.6
20Guinea56.50.0
21Burkina Faso56.5-0.2
22Djibouti56.23.3
23Mauritania56.10.8
24São Tomé and Príncipe55.9-0.3
25Comoros55.72.0
26Mali55.6-0.3
27Eswatini55.1-0.2
28Kenya54.9-0.4
29Guinea-Bissau54.91.6
30Angola54.22.0
31Lesotho53.5-1.0
32Cameroon53.4-0.2
33Malawi530.2
34Sierra Leone51.73.7
35Ethiopia51.7-1.9
36Mozambique51.61.1
37Republic of Congo50.78.9
38Chad50.40.2
39Zambia50.4-3.1
40Burundi49.90.9
41Equatorial Guinea49.20.9
42Liberia49.20.2
43Democratic Republic of Congo49-0.5
44Central African Republic48.8-1.9
45Eritrea42.33.8
46Zimbabwe39.5-3.6
47Sudan39.1-5.9
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