Hong Kong maintains
top spot in freedom index, United States drops to 23rd
November 29, 2016
TORONTO, ON – Hong
Kong is once again the freest jurisdiction in the world while the
United States continues its decline, dropping to 23rd in the
Human Freedom Index, released today
by the Fraser Institute and a network of international public policy
The index – which uses 76
indicators of personal, civil and economic freedoms to rank 159
countries and jurisdictions around the world – includes rankings from
2008 to 2014, the most recent year of comparable data.
"The Human Freedom Index
measures civil liberties, economic freedom, the rule of law, freedom
of movement, women's rights and much more," said Fred McMahon, Dr.
Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser
Institute and editor of study.
Hong Kong again ranks number
one, followed by Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland and Denmark.
Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia are tied for sixth. Other
notable countries include Germany (13), the U.S. (23), France (31),
Japan (32), Russia (115) and China (141).
Hong Kong's place atop the
list is largely because of its high scores in economic freedom.
"While the freedom index
doesn't measure democracy, democracy remains the best safeguard of
personal freedoms. If China encroaches on its one-country, two-system
relationship with Hong Kong, we can expect Hong Kong's ranking to
drop," McMahon said.
By region, the average
rankings on the index were highest for Western and Northern Europe,
followed by North America. And they were lowest for South Asia,
Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.
The complete index, a joint
project of Canada's Fraser Institute, the Cato Institute in the U.S.,
and the Liberales Institut of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for
Freedom in Germany, is available as a free PDF download at
McMahon is the project
editor. Ian Vasquez of the Cato Institute, and Tanja Porcnik of the
Visio Institute in Slovenia are the co-authors.
The 10 freest jurisdictions
1. Hong Kong
3. New Zealand
6. United Kingdom
The 10 least free countries
151. Democratic Republic of
155. Central African