The Top 10 Most Economically Free Countries vs. the Top 10 Worst [Where Does the U.S. Stand? Why it Dropped…]

Craig HueyCurrent Events, Economics, International Issues3 Comments

History shows socialism does not work.

History shows capitalism does work.

It raises people out of poverty.

It gives people unheard of economic opportunity and hope.

It sparks innovation and an improved standard of living for all…plus individual choices and freedom.

Government-controlled or state-run economies bring poverty, inequality and stagnation.

It brings you the failures of the old USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Venezuela, North Korea, communist China and Cuba.

A free society is correlated with a free economy.

But worldwide, that correlation is slipping – even in America.

The two largest economies – China and the U.S. – both saw big declines in economic freedom in 2020/2021.

Every year I review the top 10 free countries vs. the top 10 most oppressive countries.

It comes from the Index of Economic Freedom. It covers July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

The U.S. dropped to 25th place. It should be #1.

It’s a reflection of President Biden’s pro-socialist policies he is using in legislation and especially economically-crippling regulations.

And China’s economic explosion was due to its capitalist policies in the recent past. But in the last decade, those policies are being reversed. And now China has fallen to 158.

Chinese economist Weiying Zhang recently warned that Beijing has focused more heavily on government interventions. Zhang’s thesis: “If China attempts to achieve common prosperity through de-marketization and government-dominated redistribution policy instead of continuing marketization, the result can only be the return to common poverty”.  

Here is a good example of economic reality:

The GDP per capita (the measure of economic growth and success) in a “free” economy in 2022 is $73,973.

Mostly free, it’s $45,519.

In moderately free countries it is $21,803.

In mostly unfree countries, it is $9,917.

In “repressed” countries, it is $7,096.

Here are the top 10 most free and least free countries.

It’s based on:

  1. Respect for property rights
  2. Judicial effectiveness
  3. Government integrity
  4. Tax burden
  5. Fiscal health (debt, etc.)
  6. Government spending

The top 10 countries in order:

  1. Singapore
  2. Switzerland
  3. Ireland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Taiwan
  7. Estonia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Finland
  10. Denmark

The bottom 10:

  1. Central African Republic
  2. Bolivia
  3. Iran
  4. Eritrea
  5. Burundi
  6. Zimbabwe
  7. Sudan
  8. Cuba
  9. Venezuela
  10. North Korea

Of particular interest, note:

  • Taiwan (The Republic of China) is #6. Communist China is #158.
  • U.S. is #25
  • Canada is #15
  • South Korea is #19
  • Israel is #43
  • Mexico is #67
  • Russia is #113
  • Ukraine is #130

Overall, the pandemic crushed many countries because of increased government control – including lockdowns.

What do you think? Let me know at

3 Comments on “The Top 10 Most Economically Free Countries vs. the Top 10 Worst [Where Does the U.S. Stand? Why it Dropped…]”

  1. This is very worthwhile information. One survey I saw earlier this year, but well before the war started, showed Ukraine to have the least economic freedom of any country in Europe. Also, it was regarded as the most corrupt country in Europe.

    One question: Obviously there is a correlation, but how closely does GDP correlate to standard of living?

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