State of World Liberty Index

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The State of World Liberty Index is a ranking of countries according to the degree of economic and personal freedoms that their citizens enjoy; each country is given a score between 0 and 100. It is compilation of several similar indices created by other organizations. The index's author Nick Wilson, was an activist in the U.S. Libertarian Party. The Index's web site defines freedom as "the ability for the individual to live their lives as they choose, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same."

Only one report (the 2006 State of World Liberty Index, released 12 August 2006) has yet been produced by the State of World Liberty Project. Although the organization stated in 2006 that it would continue to release updated reports annually[1], no further reports have been published as of June 2013. However, others have created similar rankings on the same concept for future years[2].

The index has been cited by human rights organisations,[3] governments,[4] pro-democracy groups,[5] [6] news organisations,[7] [8] [9] and others.[10] [11] [12]


The 2006 State of World Liberty Index was created by combining the rankings of four other indexes of world liberty into one: the "2005 Economic Freedom of the World" Index (Fraser Institute/Cato Institute), the "2006 Index of Economic Freedom" (The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal), the "2005 Freedom in the World" index (Freedom House), and the "2005 Press Freedom Index" (Reporters Without Borders).

These reports are used to score countries in three categories: individual freedom, economic freedom, and government size and taxation. These three scores are then averaged to give a country's overall score.[13]

2006 rankings[edit]

In the 2006 index, Estonia was ranked most free overall, with a score of 85.25; North Korea was last with a score of 6.80. Hong Kong was ranked most free in both the economic liberty category and the government size and taxation category, but a personal freedom score of only 61.74 greatly reduced its overall ranking.

Thirty-five countries (22%) scored above 99 in the individual freedom category.

2014 rankings[edit]

The 2014 Rankings(2013 Rankings here) reproduce the original ranking concept using the same data sources, albeit adjusting the weighting of data to best capture the original intent of measuring "the ability of the individual to live their lives as they choose." Measures are also standardized appropriately given the different scales used across indices and the government burden category was condensed into the broader indicator of economic freedom.

In the 2014 index, Liechtenstein and the Bahamas were ranked most free overall, while Somalia and North Korea were tied for last. Hong Kong was ranked most free in the economic liberty once again, and Barbados was ranked most free in the social liberty category.

External links[edit]