For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom. Since 1995, the Index has brought Adam Smith’s theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 185 countries around the world.
Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.
The 10 economic freedoms are grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom:
* Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption);
* Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending);
* Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and
* Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).
Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.
Top 10 Countries for 2013
rank country overall score
1 Hong Kong. 89.3
2 Singapore. 88.0
3 Australia. 82.6
4 New Zealand. 81.4
5 Switzerland. 81.0
6 Canada. 79.4
7 Chile. 79.0
8 Mauritius. 76.9
9 Denmark. 76.1
10 United States. 76.0
Sri Lanka is at # 81 under moderately free countries! Yet, we fail to understand why professionals and good brains continue to migrate to high ranking countries, resulting in a net ‘brain drain’ which is hurting the country.