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List: Top Ten Countries With Most Economic Freedom in 2010

Date: January 2010

Source: The Heritage Foundation

Base: 192 countries in the world.

Notes: This is an annual list. Four Asia-Pacific economies now sit atop the global rankings. Hong Kong stands in first place for the 16th consecutive year, followed by Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Every region of the world maintains at least one country among those deemed "free" or "mostly free" by the Index. The UK was placed eleventh.

Terry Miller on the importance of economic freedom: "Study after study shows a strong correlation between economic freedom and prosperity. Citizens of economically freer countries enjoy much higher per-capita incomes on average than those who live in less free economies. Economic freedom also has positive impacts on overall quality of life, political and social conditions, and even on protection of the environment. Perhaps of most significance in these hard times, Index data indicate that freer economies do a much better job of reducing poverty than more highly regulated economies.
The public sector can't match the vitality of the private sector in promoting growth. Governments, even those that promise change, are primarily agents of the status quo. They tend to reflect the views and needs of those already holding political or economic power. Even democratic nations have their vested interests. Real change, however, can happen when those outside the mainstream have the freedom to try new things: new production processes, new technologies and new methods of organizing workers and capital."

Country

Score

Hong Kong

89.7

Singapore

86.1

Australia

82.6

New Zealand

82.1

Ireland

81.3

Switzerland

81.1

Canada

80.4

USA

78.0

Denmark

77.9

Chile

77.2


 
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