Capitalist Countries 2022

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Capitalism is an economic ideology in which the means of production is controlled by private business. This means that individual citizens run the economy without the government interfering in production or pricing. Instead, pricing is set by the free market. This means that value is based on supply and demand and the relationship between producers and consumers.

Capitalism is very different from socialism and communism, in which the government maintains tight control of the economy. The United States is arguably the most well-known country with a capitalist economy, which many citizens see as an essential part of democracy and building the "American Dream." Capitalism also taps into the American spirit, being a more "free" market when compared to the more government-controlled alternatives.

Despite this distinction, the United States falls short of the top 10 in terms of the most capitalistic countries in a 2021 report from The Heritage Foundation and Global Finance Magazine. According to the Heritage Organization's Economic Freedom of the World Index, the top 10 countries with the most capitalist economies (ranked from highest score to lowest) are:

Top 10 Countries with the Most Capitalist Economies - 2021 Heritage Index of Economic Freedom:

  1. Singapore (Freedom score: 89.7)
  2. New Zealand (83.9)
  3. Australia (82.4)
  4. Switzerland (81.9)
  5. Ireland (81.4)
  6. Taiwan (78.6)
  7. United Kingdom (78.4)
  8. Estonia (78.2)
  9. Canada (77.9)
  10. Denmark (77.8)

This list stands as a bit of a contrast from a 2018 list compiled by the Fraser Institute:

Top 10 Countries with the Most Capitalist Economies - 2018 Fraser Institute:

  1. Hong Kong (China)
  2. Singapore
  3. New Zealand
  4. Switzerland
  5. Australia
  6. United States
  7. Mauritius
  8. Georgia
  9. Canada
  10. Ireland

There are benefits and drawbacks to a capitalist economy. For example, capitalism cultivates competition, which often drives both innovation and affordability, with the best products selling at the best possible prices. Economic growth is another benefit. On the other hand, one of the most significant disadvantages of capitalism is that it does not promote equality of opportunity. In short, some people may not get the opportunities that others receive. Moreover, the unrestrained "supply and demand" nature of the free market can result in prices too high for lower income individuals to afford.

Does absolute capitalism exist?

In theory, yes. In practice, no country in the world has ever achieved a 100% capitalist, "laissez-faire," or free-market economy. All capitalist economies are mixed to one degree or another. The following are some high-profile examples.

Is America capitalist?

Yes, but not completely. The United States is actually referred to as a mixed market economy, meaning that it blends characteristics of both capitalism and socialism.

In the United States, the means of production (such as manufacturers or importers) are privately owned and operated for profit. This is a clearly capitalist approach. However, because the economy has regulations, taxation, and some subsidization, the United States is not a purely capitalist society. The government has at least partial control over education, roads, health care, and postal deliveries. It also provides subsidies to sectors including oil companies, financial companies, and agricultural producers. Additionally, private businesses must register with government agencies, and certain types of companies need government-approved licenses.

Is Russia capitalist?

It's arguably borderline. While many people equate Russia with socialism, the economic truth is a bit more complex. Some experts suggest that Russia is a "state capitalist" economy, but others maintain that Russia is a "mixed market" economy. State capitalism is an economic system in which the government, or state, undertakes for-profit economic activity, and the means of production are state-owned enterprises. The state controls approximately 55% of Russia's economy, and directly employs 20 million workers (28% of the workforce). Additionally, the existence of oligarchs in Russia makes the country non-capitalist.

Is Japan capitalist?

Yes, but in an altered form. Japan is a capitalist country in the form of "collective capitalism". In Japan's collective capitalist system, workers are usually compensated with job security, pensions, and social protection by their employers in return for loyalty and hard work. Collective capitalism focuses on long-term relationships, such as companies owning shares in other companies, resulting in cooperation between companies because they are invested in one other's prosperity.

For a full list of countries and their level of capitalist freedom, see the table below. Note that scores of 70 or higher would generally be considered capitalist countries, while those from 60.0-69.9 would be borderline.

Capitalist Countries 2022

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Capitalist Countries 2022

Rank Country Index of Economic Freedom - Heritage 2021 Economic Freedom Score - Fraser 2020 (2018 data) 2022 Population
1Singapore89.78.655,943,546
2New Zealand83.98.534,898,203
3Australia82.48.2326,068,792
4Switzerland81.98.438,773,637
5Ireland81.48.135,020,199
6Taiwan78.67.9423,888,595
7United Kingdom78.48.0868,497,907
8Estonia78.27.961,321,910
9Canada77.98.1738,388,419
10Denmark77.88.15,834,950
11Iceland77.47.71345,393
12Georgia77.28.183,968,738
13Mauritius778.211,274,727
14United Arab Emirates76.97.0510,081,785
15Lithuania76.98.12,661,708
16Netherlands76.87.8217,211,447
17Finland76.17.765,554,960
18Luxembourg767.75642,371
19Chile75.27.9619,250,195
20United States74.88.22334,805,269
21Sweden74.77.5810,218,971
22Malaysia74.47.5833,181,072
23Japan74.17.88125,584,838
24South Korea747.6951,329,899
25Austria73.97.89,066,710
26Czech Republic73.87.8110,736,784
27Israel73.87.628,922,892
28Norway73.47.65,511,370
29Germany72.57.8583,883,596
30Latvia72.37.891,848,837
31Qatar726.882,979,915
32Armenia71.97.922,971,966
33Cyprus71.47.841,223,387
34Kazakhstan71.17.1219,205,043
35Bulgaria70.47.746,844,597
36Malta70.27.94444,033
37Belgium70.17.5611,668,278
38Azerbaijan70.16.3710,300,205
39Spain69.97.7346,719,142
40Bahrain69.97.161,783,983
41Thailand69.76.7570,078,203
42Poland69.77.0437,739,785
43Romania69.57.8319,031,335
44Uruguay69.37.253,496,016
45Jamaica697.692,985,094
46North Macedonia68.67.152,081,304
47Rwanda68.37.3913,600,464
48Slovenia68.37.332,078,034
49Colombia68.16.7151,512,762
50Peru67.77.7633,684,208
51Botswana67.67.62,441,162
52Portugal67.57.610,140,570
53Hungary67.27.449,606,259
54Serbia67.27.058,653,016
55Indonesia66.97.39279,134,505
56Slovakia66.37.635,460,193
57Seychelles66.37.4999,426
58Panama66.27.84,446,964
59Saudi Arabia666.3135,844,909
60France65.77.465,584,518
61Mexico65.57.21131,562,772
62Albania65.27.82,866,374
63Barbados656.22288,023
64Italy64.97.5160,262,770
65Jordan64.67.6210,300,869
66Oman64.66.795,323,993
67Bahamas64.67.62400,516
68Costa Rica64.27.625,182,354
69Philippines64.17.43112,508,994
70Kuwait64.16.64,380,326
71Turkey646.6285,561,976
72Guatemala647.718,584,039
73Kyrgyzstan63.76.996,728,271
74Croatia63.67.364,059,286
75Montenegro63.46.94627,950
76Morocco63.36.737,772,756
77Bosnia And Herzegovina62.96.93,249,317
78Paraguay62.67.237,305,843
79Namibia62.66.522,633,874
80Moldova62.56.994,013,171
81Mongolia62.47.433,378,078
82Fiji62.26.5909,466
83Dominican Republic62.17.5811,056,370
84Vietnam61.76.298,953,541
85Ivory Coast61.76.0927,742,298
86Russia61.56.74145,805,947
87Tanzania61.36.7363,298,550
88Belarus616.359,432,800
89El Salvador617.416,550,389
90Greece60.96.7110,316,637
91Honduras59.87.2810,221,247
92South Africa59.76.7360,756,135
93Benin59.66.212,784,726
94Ghana59.26.6532,395,450
95Trinidad And Tobago597.261,406,585
96Papua New Guinea58.96.399,292,169
97Nigeria58.76.93216,746,934
98Uganda58.67.5548,432,863
99China58.46.211,448,471,400
100Bhutan58.36.63787,941
101Gabon58.15.862,331,533
102Senegal586.2717,653,671
103Madagascar57.76.229,178,077
104Togo57.56.258,680,837
105Belize57.56.6412,190
106Guyana57.46.68794,045
107Cambodia57.37.2817,168,639
108Tunisia56.66.0712,046,656
109India56.56.561,406,631,776
110Burkina Faso56.55.8522,102,838
111Guinea56.55.5713,865,691
112Nicaragua56.37.056,779,100
113Ukraine56.26.0643,192,122
114Mauritania56.16.224,901,981
115Egypt55.75.38106,156,692
116Sri Lanka55.76.8821,575,842
117Mali55.65.9321,473,764
118Tajikistan55.26.059,957,464
119Eswatini55.16.271,184,817
120Kenya54.96.8456,215,221
121Guinea Bissau54.95.462,063,367
122Angola54.24.7535,027,343
123Laos53.96.627,481,023
124Lesotho53.56.652,175,699
125Brazil53.46.56215,353,593
126Cameroon53.45.8527,911,548
127Malawi535.7920,180,839
128Argentina52.75.7846,010,234
129Ecuador52.46.4618,113,361
130Pakistan51.76.07229,488,994
131Ethiopia51.75.61120,812,698
132Sierra Leone51.75.878,306,436
133Mozambique51.65.9433,089,461
134Lebanon51.46.886,684,849
135Haiti50.86.5811,680,283
136Nepal50.76.4830,225,582
137Zambia50.47.1919,470,234
138Chad50.45.7117,413,580
139Burundi49.95.9412,624,840
140Algeria49.74.9745,350,148
141Liberia49.26.285,305,117
142DR Congo495.1595,240,792
143Central African Republic48.85.275,016,678
144Iran47.24.886,022,837
145Suriname46.46.37596,831
146Timor Leste44.76.291,369,429
147Bolivia42.76.311,992,656
148Zimbabwe39.55.1215,331,428
149Sudan39.14.2145,992,020
150Venezuela24.73.3429,266,991
151Myanmar5.8155,227,143
152Iraq5.6142,164,965
153Yemen5.5131,154,867
154Syria5.4519,364,809
155Hong Kong8.947,604,299
156Libya4.727,040,745
157Brunei6.6445,431

Capitalist Countries 2022

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