2021 Index of Economic Freedom

Sudan

OVERALL SCORE39.1
WORLD RANK175
Rule of Law

Property Rights32.6

Judicial Effectiveness19.7

Government Integrity20.2

Government Size

Tax Burden84.9

Government Spending91.9

Fiscal Health0.0

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom50.8

Labor Freedom60.4

Monetary Freedom39.2

Open Markets

Trade Freedom45.0

Investment Freedom5.0

Financial Freedom20.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 42.8 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $175.2 billion
    • -2.5% growth
    • 0.3% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $4,123 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 16.5%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 51.0%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $825.4 million

Sudan’s economic freedom score is 39.1, making its economy the 175th freest in the 2021 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 5.9 points, primarily because of a decline in monetary freedom. Sudan is ranked last among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is well below the regional and world averages.

Sudan’s economy plunged further in the ranks of the repressed this year; only Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea have lower scores. If the interim government can achieve a modicum of political stability, massive reforms are required to address serious shortcomings in fiscal health, investment freedom, and the three critical facets of the rule of law: property rights, judicial effectiveness, and the integrity of government.

IMPACT OF COVID-19: As of December 1, 2020, 1,255 deaths had been attributed to the pandemic in Sudan, and the economy was forecast to contract by 8.4 percent for the year.

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Background

Islamic-oriented military regimes have dominated Sudanese politics since independence from Anglo–Egyptian rule in 1956. In April 2019, after months of sustained mass nationwide protests, the Army ousted longtime Islamist dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who faces two international arrest warrants for war crimes. The political situation remains chaotic, however, as protesters continue to demand a civilian-led government. The protests began after decades of economic mismanagement and corruption precipitated an economic crisis in 2018 that featured inflation and shortages of food and water. The oil sector has driven much of Sudan’s GDP growth, but the secession of South Sudan cost Sudan two-thirds of its oil revenue. Close to half of the population is at or below the poverty line and depends on subsistence agriculture.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 32.6 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 19.7 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 20.2 Create a Graph using this measurement

Disputes over weakly protected property rights have long been a source of conflict. In September 2019, the interim government addressed some tribal land grievances. It also pledged comprehensive legal reform beginning with replacement of the Bashir regime’s politically influenced judiciary. Sudan is one of the world’s most corrupt nations, ranking 173rd out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Government SizeView Methodology

The top individual income tax rate is 15 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. The overall tax burden equals 8.0 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 16.4 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 8.4 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 200.3 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Sudan does not collect and report data on power outages. Secured creditors’ claims during bankruptcy procedures have been weakened, hurting access to credit. Unskilled labor is abundant. According to the IMF, ballooning energy subsidies contributed to the fiscal deficit’s rise by almost three percentage points to 10.8 percent of GDP in 2019.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Sudan has three preferential trade agreements in force. The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 17.5 percent. Sudan is not a member of the World Trade Organization. Years of social conflict and civil war have undermined investor confidence. The petroleum sector provides some economic stability, but other sectors face serious institutional deficiencies. Access to credit remains significantly limited, and the financial sector is severely underdeveloped.

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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