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2017 Index of Economic Freedom

The Index of Economic Freedom provides compelling evidence of the wide-ranging tangible benefits of living in freer societies. Now in its 23rd edition, the Index analyzes economic policy developments in 186 countries. Countries are graded and ranked on 12 measures of economic freedom that evaluate the rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and the openness of markets.

Key Findings of the 2017 Index:

  • Per capita incomes are much higher in countries that are more economically free. Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” in the 2017 Index generate incomes that are more than double the average levels in other countries and more than five times higher than the incomes of people living in countries with “repressed” economies.
  • Not only are higher levels of economic freedom associated with higher per capita incomes, but greater economic freedom is also strongly correlated to overall well-being, taking into account such factors as health, education, environment, innovation, societal progress, and democratic governance.
  • No matter what their existing level of development may be, countries can get an immediate boost in their economic growth by implementing steps to increase economic freedom through policies that reduce taxes, rationalize the regulatory environment, open the economy to greater competition, and fight corruption.

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