2022 Index of Economic Freedom

Mauritius

OVERALL SCORE70.9
WORLD RANK30
Rule of Law

Property Rights85.6

Judicial Effectiveness81.7

Government Integrity56.5

Government Size

Tax Burden91.3

Government Spending73.4

Fiscal Health6.8

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom72.0

Labor Freedom69.8

Monetary Freedom75.9

Open Markets

Trade Freedom87.4

Investment Freedom80.0

Financial Freedom70.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 1.3 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $25.7 billion
    • -15.8% growth
    • -0.3% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $20,292 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 7.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 2.5%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $246.0 million

Mauritius’s economic freedom score is 70.9, making its economy the 30th freest in the 2022 Index. Mauritius is ranked 1st among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.

Over the past five years, Mauritius’s economic growth was positive from 2017 to 2019, turned negative in 2020, and rebounded in 2021. Economic freedom has fluctuated during that period. Dragged down by a huge drop in its fiscal health score, Mauritius has recorded a 3.8-point overall loss of economic freedom since 2017 and has fallen to the bottom of the “Mostly Free” category. Property rights and judicial effectiveness are strong, but government integrity is relatively weak.

IMPACT OF COVID-19: As of December 1, 2021, 240 deaths had been attributed to the pandemic in Mauritius, and the government’s response to the crisis ranked 62nd among the countries included in this Index in terms of its stringency. The economy contracted by 15.8 percent in 2020.

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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 Law

Property Rights 85.6 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 81.7 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 56.5 Create a Graph using this measurement

The law protects real property rights, and the property registration system is reliable. The judiciary is based on a legacy hybrid French–British system and generally operates independently and transparently. The prevalence of corruption is low by regional standards, but graft and nepotism remain concerns and are increasingly a source of public frustration. Anticorruption laws are applied inconsistently.

Government Size

The personal income and corporate tax rates are a flat 15 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden equals 20.4 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 29.8 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 7.0 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 87.8 percent of GDP.

Regulatory Efficiency

Business freedom is strong in Mauritius, and safety and security are far superior to comparable conditions in most other sub-Saharan African countries. The government pays holders of diplomas a monthly stipend if a small or medium-size enterprise hires them. The government controls and subsidizes key services directly or through parastatal companies in the power and water, television broadcasting, and postal service sectors.

Open Markets

Mauritius has eight preferential trade agreements in force. The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 1.3 percent, and 13 nontariff measures are in effect. The investment framework is open and efficient, facilitating the flow of new investment. The modern financial sector, dominated by private commercial banks, is competitive. The banking sector is well capitalized and has been resilient in responding to external shocks.

Country's Score Over Time

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Regional Ranking

RANK COUNTRY OVERALL CHANGE
1Mauritius70.9-6.1
2Cabo Verde66.72.9
3Botswana64.8-2.8
4Côte d'Ivoire61.6-0.1
5Seychelles61.1-5.2
6Benin611.4
7São Tomé and Príncipe60.34.4
8Senegal602.0
9Ghana59.80.6
10Tanzania59.5-1.8
11Namibia59.2-3.4
12Madagascar58.91.2
13Burkina Faso58.31.8
14The Gambia58-0.8
15Togo57.2-0.3
16Rwanda57.1-11.2
17South Africa56.2-3.5
18Mali55.90.3
19Gabon55.8-2.3
20Mauritania55.3-0.8
21Djibouti55.3-0.9
22Niger54.9-2.4
23Nigeria54.4-4.3
24Uganda54.2-4.4
25Guinea54.2-2.3
26Malawi530.0
27Cameroon52.9-0.5
28Kenya52.6-2.3
29Angola52.6-1.6
30Sierra Leone520.3
31Eswatini51.4-3.7
32Mozambique51.3-0.3
33Comoros50.4-5.3
34Chad49.8-0.6
35Ethiopia49.6-2.1
36Zambia48.7-1.7
37Republic of Congo48.5-2.2
38Lesotho48.1-5.4
39Liberia47.9-1.3
40Democratic Republic of Congo47.6-1.4
41Equatorial Guinea47.2-2.0
42Guinea-Bissau46-8.9
43Central African Republic45.7-3.1
44Eritrea39.7-2.6
45Burundi39.4-10.5
46Zimbabwe33.1-6.4
47Sudan32-7.1
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