SAN JUAN—New Hampshire has once again retained its status as the most economically-free state in the union, finds a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
New Hampshire scored 7.83 out of 10 in this year’s report (down from 7.84 last year), beating out second-place Tennessee (7.82).
Economic freedom—the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions about what to buy, where to work and whether to start a business—is fundamental to prosperity.
“When governments allow markets to decide what’s produced, how it’s produced and how much is produced, citizens enjoy greater levels of economic freedom,” said Fred McMahon, the Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute and co-author of this year’s Economic Freedom of North America report, which measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2019, the latest year of available comparable data.
Rounding out the top five freest states are Florida (3rd), Texas (4th) and Virginia (5th). At the other end of the index, New York (50th) is once again the least-free state followed by California (49th), Vermont (48th), West Virginia (47th) and New Mexico (46th).
Across North America, the least-free quartile of jurisdictions had an average per- capita income 1.0 percent below the national average compared to 7.5 percent above the national average for the most-free quartile.
“Hundreds of independent studies have produced overwhelming evidence that higher levels of economic freedom are associated with more opportunity, more prosperity, greater economic growth, more investment and more jobs,” said Dean Stansel, report co-author and economist at Southern Methodist University.
The Economic Freedom of North America report (also co-authored by José Torra, the head of research at the Mexico City-based Caminos de la Libertad) is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index, the result of more than a quarter century of work by more than 60 scholars, including three Nobel laureates.
Detailed tables for each country and subnational jurisdiction can be found at www.fraserinstitute.org.
Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute Desk: (416) 363-6575 ext. 226 Mobile: (416) 727-7138 email@example.com
Research Associate Professor, Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University
The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org
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