2021 Index of Economic Freedom

Singapore

OVERALL SCORE89.7
WORLD RANK1
Rule of Law

Property Rights97.5

Judicial Effectiveness90.8

Government Integrity93.2

Government Size

Tax Burden90.5

Government Spending94.1

Fiscal Health80.0

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom93.8

Labor Freedom91.5

Monetary Freedom85.4

Open Markets

Trade Freedom95.0

Investment Freedom85.0

Financial Freedom80.0

Create a Comparison Chart

See how Singapore compares to another country using any of the measures in the Index.

vs
Close
Download PDF
Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 5.7 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $593.8 billion
    • 0.7% growth
    • 2.9% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $101,376 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 4.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 0.6%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $92.1 billion

Singapore’s economic freedom score is 89.7, making its economy the freest in the 2021 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.3 point, primarily because of an improvement in the score for government spending. Singapore is ranked 1st among 40 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

Singapore’s economy has been ranked the freest in the world again this year for the second year in a row. Singapore remains the only country in the world that is considered economically free in every Index category, although its indicator scores for fiscal health and financial freedom just barely make it over the threshold into the highest category.

IMPACT OF COVID-19: As of December 1, 2020, 29 deaths had been attributed to the pandemic in Singapore, and the economy was forecast to contract by 6.0 percent for the year.

Close

Background

Singapore is one of the world’s most prosperous nations, with a business-friendly regulatory environment and a very low unemployment rate. Despite an active parliamentary opposition, it has been ruled by one party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), for many decades. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has led the government since 2004 and has suggested a leadership transition by 2022. Although certain civil liberties remain restricted, the PAP has championed economic liberalization and international trade. Services dominate the economy, but Singapore is also a major manufacturer of electronics and chemicals and operates one of the world’s largest ports. Principal exports include integrated circuits, refined petroleum, and computers.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 97.5 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 90.8 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 93.2 Create a Graph using this measurement

Property rights are recognized and enforced effectively. Judicial processes are procedurally competent, fair, and reliable, and the judiciary is regarded as independent. Singapore is ranked 12th in the World Justice Project’s 2020 Rule of Law Index and is considered one of the world’s least corrupt countries. The government actively enforces its strong anticorruption laws, although there have been concerns about nepotism and cronyism.

Government SizeView Methodology

The top individual income tax rate is 22 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 17 percent. Other taxes include a goods and services tax. The overall tax burden equals 13.1 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 14.0 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget surpluses have averaged 4.3 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 111.8 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

The government has enhanced its risk-based approach to construction inspections and simplified the permitting process. The law generally does not interfere with business hiring and firing practices. The government funds housing, transport, and health care subsidies; influences other prices through regulation and state-linked enterprises; and has grant programs to help high-growth local firms to innovate, grow, and internationalize.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Singapore has 25 preferential trade agreements in force. The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 0 percent, and 182 nontariff measures are in effect. Well-institutionalized openness to global investment encourages vibrant commercial activity. The government continues its ownership in the financial sector but has steadily been opening the domestic market to foreign banks. No restrictive measures have been taken in the sector over the past year.

Country's Score Over Time

View Chart of Scores over Time

Regional Ranking

RANK COUNTRY OVERALL CHANGE
1Singapore89.70.3
2New Zealand83.9-0.2
3Australia82.4-0.2
4Taiwan78.61.5
5Malaysia74.4-0.3
6Japan74.10.8
7South Korea740.0
8Kazakhstan71.11.5
9Thailand69.70.3
10Indonesia66.9-0.3
11Brunei Darussalam66.60.0
12Philippines64.1-0.4
13Kyrgyz Republic63.70.8
14Mongolia62.46.5
15Fiji62.2-1.2
16Samoa61.9-0.2
17Vietnam61.72.9
18Vanuatu60.5-0.2
19Papua New Guinea58.90.5
20China58.4-1.1
21Uzbekistan58.31.1
22Bhutan58.3-3.8
23Tonga57.5-1.3
24Cambodia57.30.0
25Bangladesh 56.50.1
26India56.50.0
27Solomon Islands56.53.6
28Sri Lanka55.7-1.7
29Tajikistan55.23.0
30Burma55.21.2
31Maldives55.2-1.3
32Laos53.9-1.6
33Afghanistan53-1.7
34Pakistan51.7-3.1
35Nepal50.7-3.5
36Micronesia50.4-1.6
37Turkmenistan47.40.9
38Timor-Leste44.7-1.2
39Kiribati44.4-0.8
40North Korea5.21.0
See Entire Region List ›

View all countries ›

Back to Top