2018 Index of Economic Freedom

Country Rankings

overall score90.2
+0.4
world rank1

#1 Hong Kong

Read More About Hong KongHong Kong’s economic freedom score is 90.2, making its economy the freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.4 point, with improvements in government integrity, business freedom, and monetary freedom offsetting a decline in the score for the property rights indicator. Hong Kong is ranked 1st among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights92.5

Government Integrity82.8

Judicial Effectiveness84.3

Government Size

Government Spending90.2

Tax Burden93.1

Fiscal Health100.0

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom96.3

Labor Freedom89.4

Monetary Freedom84.3

Open Markets

Trade Freedom90.0

Investment Freedom90.0

Financial Freedom90.0

overall score88.8
+0.2
world rank2

#2 Singapore

Read More About SingaporeSingapore’s economic freedom score is 88.8, making its economy the 2nd freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.2 point, with improvements in government integrity, labor freedom, and property rights outweighing lower scores for the business freedom and fiscal health indicators. Singapore is ranked 2nd among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights98.4

Government Integrity91.2

Judicial Effectiveness90.9

Government Size

Government Spending90.6

Tax Burden90.4

Fiscal Health80.0

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom90.9

Labor Freedom92.6

Monetary Freedom85.2

Open Markets

Trade Freedom90.0

Investment Freedom85.0

Financial Freedom80.0

overall score84.2
+0.5
world rank3

#3 New Zealand

Read More About New ZealandNew Zealand’s economic freedom score is 84.2, making its economy the 3rd freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.5 point, with an improvement in government integrity outpacing a decline in the labor freedom indicator. New Zealand is ranked 3rd among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is far above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights95.1

Government Integrity95.7

Judicial Effectiveness88.4

Government Size

Government Spending49.5

Tax Burden70.5

Fiscal Health98.3

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom91.5

Labor Freedom84.4

Monetary Freedom90.0

Open Markets

Trade Freedom87.4

Investment Freedom80.0

Financial Freedom80.0

overall score81.7
+0.2
world rank4

#4 Switzerland

Read More About SwitzerlandSwitzerland’s economic freedom score is 81.7, making its economy the 4th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.2 point, with improvements in judicial effectiveness, government integrity, and monetary freedom outpacing slightly lower scores for the property rights and government spending indicators. Switzerland is ranked 1st among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights84.2

Government Integrity82.8

Judicial Effectiveness82.1

Government Size

Government Spending65.4

Tax Burden70.5

Fiscal Health95.9

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom75.7

Labor Freedom73.9

Monetary Freedom85.2

Open Markets

Trade Freedom90.0

Investment Freedom85.0

Financial Freedom90.0

overall score80.9
-0.1
world rank5

#5 Australia

Read More About AustraliaAustralia’s economic freedom score is 80.9, making its economy the 5th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 0.1 point, with higher scores for the government integrity and government spending indicators offset by declines in labor freedom and property rights. Australia is ranked 4th among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights78.7

Government Integrity77.4

Judicial Effectiveness93.4

Government Size

Government Spending61.2

Tax Burden63.0

Fiscal Health84.3

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom89.1

Labor Freedom79.7

Monetary Freedom87.4

Open Markets

Trade Freedom86.2

Investment Freedom80.0

Financial Freedom90.0

overall score80.4
+3.7
world rank6

#6 Ireland

Read More About IrelandIreland rejoins the elite group of economically “free” countries with an economic freedom score of 80.4, making its economy the 6th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 3.7 points, led by dramatically higher scores for fiscal health and government spending and improved tax burden and labor freedom indicators. Ireland is ranked 2nd among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights87.7

Government Integrity79.0

Judicial Effectiveness79.0

Government Size

Government Spending69.6

Tax Burden76.1

Fiscal Health80.8

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom81.8

Labor Freedom76.4

Monetary Freedom87.4

Open Markets

Trade Freedom86.9

Investment Freedom90.0

Financial Freedom70.0

overall score78.8
-0.3
world rank7

#7 Estonia

Read More About EstoniaEstonia’s economic freedom score is 78.8, making its economy the 7th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 0.3 point, with lower scores for the government spending, property rights, and labor freedom indicators outpacing an improvement in government integrity. Estonia is ranked 3rd among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights80.4

Government Integrity75.7

Judicial Effectiveness83.9

Government Size

Government Spending52.6

Tax Burden80.7

Fiscal Health99.8

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom75.6

Labor Freedom54.8

Monetary Freedom85.1

Open Markets

Trade Freedom86.9

Investment Freedom90.0

Financial Freedom80.0

overall score78.0
+1.6
world rank8

#8 United Kingdom

Read More About United KingdomThe United Kingdom’s economic freedom score is 78.0, making its economy the 8th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 1.6 points, led by significantly higher scores for the fiscal health and government spending indicators. The U.K. is ranked 4th among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights92.2

Government Integrity79.0

Judicial Effectiveness93.8

Government Size

Government Spending44.4

Tax Burden65.2

Fiscal Health53.5

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom91.1

Labor Freedom74.4

Monetary Freedom85.2

Open Markets

Trade Freedom86.9

Investment Freedom90.0

Financial Freedom80.0

overall score77.7
-0.8
world rank9

#9 Canada

Read More About CanadaCanada’s economic freedom score is 77.7, making its economy the 9th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 0.8 point, with declines in judicial effectiveness, government integrity, and labor freedom outweighing a small improvement in fiscal health. Canada is ranked 1st among 32 countries in the Americas region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights87.5

Government Integrity78.3

Judicial Effectiveness77.1

Government Size

Government Spending52.3

Tax Burden76.7

Fiscal Health81.2

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom81.8

Labor Freedom71.3

Monetary Freedom77.5

Open Markets

Trade Freedom88.1

Investment Freedom80.0

Financial Freedom80.0

overall score77.6
+0.7
world rank10

#10 United Arab Emirates

Read More About United Arab EmiratesThe United Arab Emirates’ economic freedom score is 77.6, making its economy the 10th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.7 point, with higher scores for the government spending and government integrity indicators outpacing small declines in judicial effectiveness and business freedom. The UAE is ranked 1st among 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.

Rule of Law

Property Rights76.3

Government Integrity77.3

Judicial Effectiveness83.4

Government Size

Government Spending70.9

Tax Burden98.4

Fiscal Health99.0

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom79.9

Labor Freedom81.1

Monetary Freedom80.2

Open Markets

Trade Freedom84.3

Investment Freedom40.0

Financial Freedom60.0

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Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
1 Hong Kong 90.2 +0.4 4 Switzerland 81.7 +0.2
2 Singapore 88.8 +0.2 5 Australia 80.9 -0.1
3 New Zealand 84.2 +0.5 6 Ireland 80.4 +3.7

Mostly Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
7 Estonia 78.8 -0.3 21 Mauritius 75.1 +0.4
8 United Kingdom 78.0 +1.6 22 Malaysia 74.5 +0.7
9 Canada 77.7 -0.8 23 Norway 74.3 +0.3
10 United Arab Emirates 77.6 +0.7 24 Czech Republic 74.2 +0.9
11 Iceland 77.0 +2.6 25 Germany 74.2 +0.4
12 Denmark 76.6 +1.5 26 Finland 74.1 +0.1
13 Taiwan 76.6 +0.1 27 South Korea 73.8 -0.5
14 Luxembourg 76.4 +0.5 28 Latvia 73.6 -1.2
15 Sweden 76.3 +1.4 29 Qatar 72.6 -0.5
16 Georgia 76.2 +0.2 30 Japan 72.3 +2.7
17 Netherlands 76.2 +0.4 31 Israel 72.2 +2.5
18 United States 75.7 +0.6 32 Austria 71.8 -0.5
19 Lithuania 75.3 -0.5 33 Macedonia 71.3 +0.6
20 Chile 75.2 -1.3 34 Macau 70.9 +0.2

Moderately Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
35 Botswana 69.9 -0.2 66 Dominica 64.5 +0.8
36 Vanuatu 69.5 +2.1 67 Azerbaijan 64.3 +0.7
37 Romania 69.4 -0.3 68 Montenegro 64.3 +2.3
38 Uruguay 69.2 -0.5 69 Indonesia 64.2 +2.3
39 Rwanda 69.1 +1.5 70 Brunei Darussalam 64.2 -5.6
40 Jamaica 69.1 -0.4 71 France 63.9 +0.6
41 Kazakhstan 69.1 +0.1 72 Portugal 63.4 +0.8
42 Colombia 68.9 -0.8 73 Guatemala 63.4 +0.4
43 Peru 68.7 -0.2 74 The Bahamas 63.3 +2.2
44 Armenia 68.7 -1.6 75 El Salvador 63.2 -0.9
45 Poland 68.5 +0.2 76 Tonga 63.1 +0.1
46 Malta 68.5 +0.8 77 South Africa 63.0 +0.7
47 Bulgaria 68.3 +0.4 78 Kyrgyz Republic 62.8 +1.7
48 Cyprus 67.8 -0.1 79 Italy 62.5 0.0
49 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 67.7 +2.5 80 Serbia 62.5 +3.6
50 Bahrain 67.7 -0.8 81 Kuwait 62.2 -2.9
51 Saint Lucia 67.6 +2.6 82 Paraguay 62.1 -0.3
52 Belgium 67.5 -0.3 83 Uganda 62.0 +1.1
53 Thailand 67.1 +0.9 84 Fiji 62.0 -1.4
54 Panama 67.0 +0.7 85 Côte d'Ivoire 62.0 -1.0
55 Hungary 66.7 +0.9 86 Morocco 61.9 +0.4
56 Kosovo 66.6 -1.3 87 Bhutan 61.8 +3.4
57 Costa Rica 65.6 +0.6 88 Seychelles 61.6 -0.2
58 Turkey 65.4 +0.2 89 Dominican Republic 61.6 -1.3
59 Slovakia 65.3 -0.4 90 Samoa 61.5 +3.1
60 Spain 65.1 +1.5 91 Bosnia and Herzegovina 61.4 +1.2
61 Philippines 65.0 -0.6 92 Croatia 61.0 +1.6
62 Jordan 64.9 -1.8 93 Oman 61.0 -1.1
63 Mexico 64.8 +1.2 94 Honduras 60.6 +1.8
64 Slovenia 64.8 +5.6 95 Burkina Faso 60.0 +0.4
65 Albania 64.5 +0.1 96 Cabo Verde 60.0 +3.1

Mostly Unfree

rank country overall change rank country overall change
97 Tanzania 59.9 +1.3 129 Kenya 54.7 +1.2
98 Saudi Arabia 59.6 -4.8 130 India 54.5 +1.9
99 Tunisia 58.9 +3.2 131 Pakistan 54.4 +1.6
100 Nicaragua 58.9 -0.3 132 Zambia 54.3 -1.5
101 Cambodia 58.7 -0.8 133 Nepal 54.1 -1.0
102 Guyana 58.7 +0.2 134 Mauritania 54.0 -0.4
103 Namibia 58.5 -4.0 135 Burma 53.9 +1.4
104 Nigeria 58.5 +1.4 136 Lesotho 53.9 0.0
105 Moldova 58.4 +0.4 137 São Tomé and Príncipe 53.6 -1.8
106 Tajikistan 58.3 +0.1 138 Laos 53.6 -0.4
107 Russia 58.2 +1.1 139 Egypt 53.4 +0.8
108 Belarus 58.1 -0.5 140 Lebanon 53.2 -0.1
109 Gabon 58.0 -0.6 141 Vietnam 53.1 +0.7
110 China 57.8 +0.4 142 Ethiopia 52.8 +0.1
111 Sri Lanka 57.8 +0.4 143 Micronesia 52.3 -1.8
112 Trinidad and Tobago 57.7 -3.5 144 Argentina 52.3 +1.9
113 Mali 57.6 -1.0 145 The Gambia 52.3 -1.1
114 Solomon Islands 57.5 +2.5 146 Guinea 52.2 +4.6
115 Greece 57.3 +2.3 147 Democratic Republic of Congo 52.1 -4.3
116 Belize 57.1 -1.5 148 Malawi 52.0 -0.2
117 Barbados 57.0 +2.5 149 Cameroon 51.9 +0.1
118 Guinea-Bissau 56.9 +0.8 150 Ukraine 51.9 +3.8
119 Madagascar 56.8 -0.6 151 Sierra Leone 51.8 -0.8
120 Benin 56.7 -2.5 152 Uzbekistan 51.5 -0.8
121 Comoros 56.2 +0.4 153 Brazil 51.4 -1.5
122 Ghana 56.0 -0.2 154 Afghanistan 51.3 +2.4
123 Swaziland 55.9 -5.2 155 Maldives 51.1 +0.8
124 Haiti 55.8 +6.2 156 Iran 50.9 +0.4
125 Mongolia 55.7 +0.9 157 Burundi 50.9 -2.3
126 Senegal 55.7 -0.2 158 Liberia 50.9 +1.8
127 Papua New Guinea 55.7 +4.8 159 Kiribati 50.8 -0.1
128 Bangladesh 55.1 +0.1

Repressed

rank country overall change rank country overall change
160 Niger 49.5 -1.3 171 Djibouti 45.1 -1.6
161 Sudan 49.4 +0.6 172 Algeria 44.7 -1.8
162 Chad 49.3 +0.3 173 Bolivia 44.1 -3.6
163 Central African Republic 49.2 -2.6 174 Zimbabwe 44.0 0.0
164 Angola 48.6 +0.1 175 Equatorial Guinea 42.0 -3.0
165 Ecuador 48.5 -0.8 176 Eritrea 41.7 -0.5
166 Suriname 48.1 +0.1 177 Republic of Congo 38.9 -1.1
167 Timor-Leste 48.1 +1.8 178 Cuba 31.9 -2.0
168 Togo 47.8 -5.4 179 Venezuela 25.2 -1.8
169 Turkmenistan 47.1 -0.3 180 North Korea 5.8 +0.9
170 Mozambique 46.3 -3.6

Not Ranked

rank country overall change rank country overall change
N/A Iraq N/A N/A N/A Somalia N/A N/A
N/A Libya N/A N/A N/A Syria N/A N/A
N/A Liechtenstein N/A N/A N/A Yemen N/A N/A

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