November 24th, 2001


2002 Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation's 2002 Index of Economic Freedom is out. Hong Kong scored the highest, followed by Singapore, New Zealand. Estonia, Ireland, The Netherlands, and the U.S. tied for fourth.

Estonia? What's happening there?

Also, small island nations seem to be disproportionately represented...

Here's the Wall Street Journal's coverage:

Repression Breeds Terrorism
Who's free? Who's not?

Monday, November 12, 2001 12:01 a.m.

The 2002 Index of Economic Freedom, released today by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, might just as easily have been titled "A
Guide to the Sources of Peace and Prosperity." Or, as a primer for terrorism's Western apologists, it could be called "Civilization for Dummies."

The findings of this study, now in its eighth year, have always been straightforward: Countries with the most economic freedom also have higher rates of
long-term economic growth. But this year, another pattern also jumps out at the reader. Economically free countries exhibit greater tolerance and
civility than economically repressed ones, where hopelessness and isolation foment fanaticism and terrorism.

The world's largest concentration of economic repression--Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya--is also a primitive hotbed of terrorism. Egypt and Yemen are
"mostly unfree," while Afghanistan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Somalia are all so void of a rule of law that they are
impossible to analyze.

Yet, on balance, the world is growing freer. For the eighth straight year, economic liberty has expanded. World-wide, 73 countries received better
scores than last year, 53 received worse scores, and 27 remain unchanged. Of the 156 countries numerically graded in the 2002 Index, 71 are either
"free" or "mostly free," while 85 are "mostly unfree" or "repressed." (To see the rankings, click here.)

Collapse )