Economic Freedom: Best and Worst Countries, US Timeline History

Mike Mish Shedlock

The Fraser Institute ranks countries based on economic freedom. In 2010, the US fell out of the top 10. It's now 11.

The Economic Freedom report is copublished by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada and more than 70 think tanks around the world.

An interactive map hows a changing timeline from 1975 to today.

The 21st edition of Economic Freedom of the World and this year’s publication ranks 159 countries and territories for 2015, the most recent year for which data are available.

Economic Freedom Components

  1. Size of Government
  2. Legal System and Property Rights
  3. Sound Money
  4. Freedom to Trade Internationally
  5. Regulation

Point number 3 considers inflation, money growth, and freedom to own foreign currencies. about access to sound money. It's important that "individuals have access to sound money: who provides it makes little difference."

Partial US History

  • US 3 - 1975
  • US 4 - 2000
  • US 5 - 2001
  • US 6 - 2003
  • US 8 - 2009
  • US 11 - 2011
  • US 13 - 2014
  • US 11 - 2015 (current report for 2017)

Select Countries

  • Venezuela, in hyperinflation, and ruled by a de facto dictator, is at the bottom of the list in position 159 with a score of 2.92 out of 10.
  • China is 112 with a score of 6.40 out of 10.
  • South America and Africa are primarily basket cases.
  • Hong Kong and Singapore beat the US by nearly one point.

Many people think China is on the way to world domination. I disagree, and economic freedom is a key reason

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (5)

This should be on the front page of the WSJ and the NYT, and any other newspaper which appreciates real news. Looking at the map, for only a moment, makes clear that the cost of economic freedom is always worth it. I'm glad to see we're moving (finally) in the right direction. But more freedom would certainly be beneficial. The assault on private property rights needs to end and the size of government needs to be reduced. Large government and interference with private property are the goals of tyrants, and there has not yet been a government which will not lie and steal to grow.

No. 1-5

UK has more economic freedom than Canada? So why do the Brits keep emigrating to Canada, not the other way round? Kazakhstan is freer than Russia? Really does not sound likely. Mongolia is freer than France? OK -- maybe that might be the case! Problem is that rankings like these tend to rely on Government-generated "statistics" -- and we all know how reliable those can be. The real question is -- Where in the world is there a country whose government spending & government regulation is declining?


I knew the Koch bros funded Cato and Fraser, but I'm surprised they need to fund 70 other "think tanks". I guess it helps people to self-reinforce their belief patterns if they feel lots of think tanks feel the way they do.


I see Argentina is trying hard to take the bottom spot away from Venezuela.


Bernie Sanders and obama love that place.

Hollywood stars call their leaders "heros"

Democrats line up to get photos with them.

"Venezuela, in hyperinflation, and ruled by a de facto dictator, is at the bottom of the list in position 159 with a score of 2.92 out of 10."

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