Hong Kong and Singapore again top the index, continuing their streak as 1st and 2nd respectively. New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the United States, Georgia, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada (tied for 10th) round out the top 10.
The Czech Republic ranks 30 out of 162 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2018 Annual Report, released today by Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute.
The 2018 report is based on data from 2016 (the most recent year of available comparable data): specifically, it measures and ranks countries in five areas: size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.
The 10 lowest-ranked countries are Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Syria, Algeria, Argentina, Libya, and last-place Venezuela. Some countries such as North Korea and Cuba can’t be ranked due to lack of data.
Citing research in top peer-reviewed academic journals, IDEAS said people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives.
“For example, countries in the top quartile (25%) of economic freedom [such as the UK, Japan and Ireland] had an average per-capita income of US$40,376 in 2016 compared with US$5,649 for the bottom quartile countries [such as Venezuela, Iran and Zimbabwe],” the think tank said.
“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives,” said Fred McMahon, Dr Michael A Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute.