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September 18, 2016 | 12:50 | Dubai
Fraser Institute released its 2016 annual report on the Economic Freedom of the World. The tracking index, within measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter markets and compete, and security of the person and privately owned property. Forty-two data points are used to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five broad areas:
1 size of government: expenditures, taxes, and enterprises;
2 legal structure and security of property rights;
3 access to sound money;
4 freedom to trade internationally; and
5 regulation of credit, labor, and business.
The EFW index now ranks 159 countries and territories. Data are available for approximately 100 nations and territories back to 1980, and many back to 1970.
Nations that are economically free out-perform non-free nations in indicators of well-being
Hong Kong and Singapore, once again, occupy the top two positions. Next comes New Zealand and Switzerland, two countries almost always in the top five. Five countries—Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, and United Arab Emirates—are tied for fifth place. Australia and United Kingdom conclude the top ten with a tie.
The 10 lowest-rated countries are: Iran, Algeria, Chad, Guinea, Angola, the Central African Republic, Argentina, the Republic of the Congo, Libya and, lastly, Venezuela.