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Human Freedom Score 2023

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Freedom Index by Country 2024

Snapshot

  • The Human Freedom Index measures personal and economic freedom in 165 countries, representing 98.1% of the global population, using 82 indicators across 12 categories.

  • In 2021, Switzerland topped the Human Freedom Index at 9.01, followed by New Zealand and Denmark; the global average score was 7.12.

  • Regions like North America and Western Europe score highest in freedom, whereas the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia rank lowest, with women's freedoms notably restricted.

Human freedom is an inherently valuable social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals. Human freedom enables and empowers people to do as they please, free from constraints or punishments, so long as it does not impinge upon the freedom of another. Human freedom plays a huge role in human progress.

The Human Freedom Index and its purpose

The Human Freedom Index is an annual report that evaluates the state of human freedom in 165 countries and territories around the world, representing 98.1 percent of the human population as of 2021. The HFI is a broadly comprehensive measure that encompasses both personal and economic freedom, then merges the two into a single value titled simply "human freedom." The Human Freedom Index is co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. The countries with the highest Human Freedom Index scores are widely considered to be among (the freest countries in the world).

The 2021 Human Freedom Index report is the most comprehensive empirical measure of freedom yet created. It compares and combines 82 different indicators to quantify the degree of freedom in 165 countries and territories during 2019, the most recent year for which sufficient data are available. Each of the 82 indicators examined fits into one of 12 meta-categories.

The 12 Categories of the Human Freedom Index:

  • Rule of Law
  • Security and Safety
  • Movement
  • Religion
  • Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
  • Expression and Information
  • Identity and Relationships
  • Size of Government
  • Legal System and Property Rights
  • Access to Sound Money
  • Freedom to Trade Internationally
  • Regulation

The Human Freedom Index gives each country a score from 0 to 10, wherein a score of 10 represents the most freedom and 0 represents no freedom at all, in each of the 82 indicators. These scores are carefully weighted and combined to determine the values for personal freedom and economic freedom, then those two values are averaged to determine each country’s ultimate human freedom index score.

Personal freedom and economic freedom compared

Personal freedom and economic freedom are made up of two sets of distinct, but closely intertwined indicators. Personal freedom involves indicators such as the fairness of the laws, personal safety, freedom of movement and assembly, freedom of religion, freedom to run for political office, freedom of the press, freedom of speech and expression, and freedom to pursue same-sex relationships or obtain a divorce.

In comparison, economic freedom observes indicators such as the size of the government and degree of overbearance it imposes, tax and interest rates, the impartiality of the courts and integrity of the legal system, freedom to participate in financial markets and/or trade internationally, minimum wage, the cost of starting a business, the presence or absence of conscription (obligatory government work), and general freedom to prosper financially without intervention from the government or economic authority.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Human Freedom Indexes (2023):

Country
Human Freedom Score 2023
Switzerland9.01
New Zealand8.88
Denmark8.83
Ireland8.79
Sweden8.75
Estonia8.75
Iceland8.73
Luxembourg8.71
Finland8.7
Norway8.58

In the 2023 edition of the Human Freedom Index, the average human freedom score was 7.12. Compared to the levels in 2008, the overall freedom of the countries included has decreased by 0.01. The report finds a strong relationship between human freedom and democracy. The regions with the highest levels of freedom are North America, Western Europe, and East Asia. The lowest levels of freedom are in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. Women are particularly unprotected in these regions, where female-specific freedoms are more likely to be repressed.

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Human Freedom Indexes (2023):

Country
Human Freedom Score 2023
Syria2.96
Yemen3.43
Sudan3.81
Myanmar3.88
Iran4.03
Venezuela4.22
Egypt4.24
Somalia4.49
Saudi Arabia4.53
Iraq4.73

The quartiles of human freedom

The Human Freedom Index further groups each country into one of four quartiles, with the first quartile being the freest and the fourth quartile being the least free. According to the data analyzed for the 2023 report, only 14.6 percent of people live in the first quartile, which offers the greatest amount of personal, economic, and human freedom. Conversely, a full 40.3 percent live in the fourth quartile, which enjoys the lowest degree of personal, economic, and human freedom. What's more, those who live in the first quartile enjoyed a per-capita income of $48,748. This compared quite favorably to the much lower $11,259 average income in the fourth quartile.

  • The Freedom Index includes three metrics. The end goal metric is Human Freedom, which is determined by combining the other two metrics, Personal Freedom and Economic Freedom.
  • The Freedom Index takes roughly two years to compile. For example, the 2023 Freedom Index analyzed the state of world freedom in 2021, the 2024 index will analyze data for 2022, and so on.
  • Coronavirus restrictions prevented the production of an annual Freedom Index update in 2020.

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Country
Human Freedom Score 2023
Personal Freedom Score 2023
Economic Freedom Score 2023
Switzerland9.019.398.47
New Zealand8.889.28.43
Denmark8.839.358.1
Ireland8.799.278.11
Sweden8.759.437.81
Estonia8.759.327.95
Iceland8.739.317.93
Luxembourg8.719.297.91
Finland8.79.337.81
Norway8.589.237.67
Netherlands8.579.147.76
Taiwan8.568.987.97
Canada8.558.967.98
Australia8.528.868.05
Latvia8.458.987.71
Japan8.48.837.79
United States8.398.578.14
United Kingdom8.398.668.01
Lithuania8.398.717.95
Czech Republic8.388.787.81
Germany8.378.827.73
Belgium8.338.977.43
Portugal8.278.797.54
Austria8.248.647.69
Malta8.28.537.73
Chile8.168.527.66
Cyprus8.158.567.57
South Korea8.128.587.47
Slovakia8.048.447.49
Costa Rica8.048.257.76
Spain8.038.387.52
Cape Verde88.457.38
Armenia7.998.297.58
Croatia7.968.477.25
Uruguay7.968.67.06
Italy7.958.457.25
Romania7.98.057.7
Slovenia7.98.387.23
France7.868.187.4
Seychelles7.858.377.12
Bahamas7.828.736.55
Georgia7.87.877.71
Montenegro7.87.957.59
Singapore7.757.178.56
Barbados7.728.276.94
Hong Kong7.77.18.55
Poland7.698.097.12
Bulgaria7.687.847.46
Albania7.677.727.6
Moldova7.668.017.18
North Macedonia7.648.067.06
Mauritius7.617.467.82
Panama7.577.627.51
Peru7.567.67.52
Dominican Republic7.567.747.3
Jamaica7.567.627.46
Greece7.497.896.94
Trinidad and Tobago7.458.046.63
Israel7.437.327.57
Mongolia7.437.717.04
Bosnia and Herzegovina7.337.816.66
Botswana7.317.646.84
Namibia7.318.136.16
Hungary7.247.157.36
Ghana7.197.756.41
Fiji7.167.766.32
Serbia7.147.356.85
Guatemala7.096.797.5
Suriname7.078.175.52
Paraguay7.067.097.02
Ecuador7.037.436.46
Brazil6.927.166.58
South Africa6.927.196.53
Papua New Guinea6.887.486.05
Benin6.867.176.41
Argentina6.858.344.77
El Salvador6.856.677.11
Malawi6.837.525.87
Bolivia6.837.366.08
Belize6.827.475.91
Guyana6.747.675.43
Ukraine6.727.126.17
Honduras6.726.556.97
Nepal6.717.016.3
Senegal6.717.076.2
Bhutan6.696.746.62
Thailand6.676.397.07
Malaysia6.666.287.19
Kyrgyzstan6.646.486.88
Gambia6.646.37.11
Indonesia6.626.396.93
Kenya6.576.386.82
Burkina Faso6.576.886.14
Mexico6.556.227.02
Colombia6.546.56.6
Mozambique6.516.866.03
Sierra Leone6.516.945.91
Gabon6.57.285.41
Lesotho6.496.875.95
Ivory Coast6.486.796.04
Philippines6.466.077.01
Kazakhstan6.45.887.13
Liberia6.396.795.82
Haiti6.376.536.15
Madagascar6.366.685.92
Jordan6.325.637.3
India6.296.066.62
Niger6.296.645.8
Kuwait6.255.986.63
Tunisia6.226.366.02
Zambia6.216.475.84
Togo6.26.176.24
Tanzania6.166.086.27
Sri Lanka6.136.136.13
Cambodia6.085.546.82
Nigeria5.965.456.67
Mali5.95.975.8
Rwanda5.895.276.77
Russia5.815.486.28
Angola5.766.035.38
Uganda5.755.116.64
Lebanon5.746.165.15
United Arab Emirates5.734.577.35
Azerbaijan5.655.415.99
Brunei5.654.617.12
Turkey5.635.146.32
Oman5.564.836.58
Bangladesh5.515.35.81
Vietnam5.514.976.26
Pakistan5.495.135.98
DR Congo5.485.595.33
Morocco5.484.86.42
Belarus5.484.946.23
Nicaragua5.484.736.52
Bahrain5.474.057.44
Comoros5.455.325.63
Tajikistan5.444.776.38
Republic of the Congo5.415.84.85
Qatar5.394.546.58
Laos5.344.76.24
Central African Republic5.345.585.01
Mauritania5.345.025.78
Djibouti5.324.995.79
Cameroon5.355.72
Guinea5.214.915.62
Ethiopia5.25.035.44
China5.154.426.18
Eswatini5.074.895.33
Chad4.994.775.31
Libya4.945.154.65
Zimbabwe4.865.613.81
Burundi4.854.465.4
Algeria4.824.824.82
Iraq4.734.195.49
Saudi Arabia4.533.026.64
Somalia4.493.655.66
Egypt4.243.365.47
Venezuela4.225.093.01
Iran4.033.674.53
Myanmar3.882.845.33
Sudan3.813.683.98
Yemen3.432.894.18
Syria2.962.293.9
Total6.74828220858895566.8238036809815966.642331288343558
showing: 163 rows

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Country
Freedom Index - 2022
Freedom Index - 2021
Freedom Index - 2020
Albania7.678.147.84
Algeria5.135.264.99
Angola5.976.095.40
Argentina6.997.386.86
Armenia8.148.207.42
Australia8.518.848.62
Austria8.268.678.48
Azerbaijan5.706.166.22
Bahamas8.148.227.56
Bahrain5.495.736.63
Bangladesh5.515.755.77
Barbados7.697.927.02
Belarus5.786.736.65
Belgium8.278.618.29
Belize7.027.646.95
Benin6.957.326.77
Bhutan6.716.866.53
Bolivia6.606.946.61
Bosnia and Herzegovina7.357.547.37
Botswana7.447.907.17
Brazil6.867.226.48
Brunei5.626.465.69
Bulgaria7.818.087.79
Burkina Faso6.636.856.73
Burundi4.825.025.56
Cambodia6.246.477.13
Cameroon5.345.635.64
Canada8.478.858.65
Cape Verde8.128.267.45
Central African Republic5.475.625.41
Chad5.555.575.46
Chile8.068.448.15
China5.225.576.17
Colombia6.657.016.93
Comoros5.756.07
Costa Rica7.988.257.70
Croatia7.868.167.86
Cyprus8.138.427.93
Czech Republic8.338.618.34
Denmark8.728.988.56
Djibouti5.515.84
Dominican Republic7.617.886.95
DR Congo5.395.625.36
Ecuador7.127.436.82
Egypt4.284.494.50
El Salvador6.657.396.89
Estonia8.738.918.46
Eswatini5.455.796.40
Ethiopia5.425.955.25
Fiji7.287.367.17
Finland8.628.858.53
France7.808.348.02
Gabon6.626.805.99
Gambia6.616.885.94
Georgia7.718.207.74
Germany8.338.738.53
Ghana7.267.496.94
Greece7.507.867.33
Guatemala7.087.637.07
Guinea5.455.825.61
Guinea-Bissau6.546.776.07
Guyana6.907.496.74
Haiti6.787.216.71
Honduras6.677.096.81
Hong Kong8.018.418.81
Hungary7.217.737.65
Iceland8.648.778.41
India6.306.396.64
Indonesia6.747.106.83
Iran4.264.535.10
Iraq4.775.024.34
Ireland8.708.908.52
Israel7.367.667.61
Italy8.028.498.04
Ivory Coast6.476.906.59
Jamaica7.537.917.20
Japan8.398.738.28
Jordan6.396.916.84
Kazakhstan6.466.776.90
Kenya6.586.736.85
Kuwait6.256.346.19
Kyrgyzstan6.707.186.98
Laos5.445.856.20
Latvia8.428.678.29
Lebanon5.986.766.74
Lesotho6.807.016.54
Liberia6.626.816.35
Libya4.955.054.64
Lithuania8.348.688.32
Luxembourg8.538.808.56
Madagascar6.477.026.32
Malawi6.896.996.60
Malaysia6.787.176.52
Mali6.016.256.03
Malta8.208.458.37
Mauritania5.545.735.47
Mauritius7.638.077.52
Mexico6.606.926.65
Moldova7.467.686.93
Mongolia7.6287.61
Montenegro7.457.887.43
Morocco5.555.906.18
Mozambique6.626.806.24
Myanmar5.565.785.44
Namibia7.497.566.75
Nepal6.777.126.51
Netherlands8.558.788.50
New Zealand8.759.018.88
Nicaragua5.966.246.86
Niger6.336.415.87
Nigeria5.936.286.38
North Macedonia7.677.757.34
Norway8.518.768.44
Oman5.575.925.98
Pakistan5.445.635.69
Panama7.528.127.69
Papua New Guinea6.987.176.60
Paraguay7.037.546.90
Peru7.517.937.55
Philippines6.526.836.88
Poland7.667.967.78
Portugal8.208.698.27
Qatar5.736.156.15
Republic of the Congo5.555.555.80
Romania7.898.338.11
Russia6.016.236.34
Rwanda5.936.366.82
Saudi Arabia4.565.125.42
Senegal6.707.076.57
Serbia7.167.547.30
Seychelles7.707.847.16
Sierra Leone6.536.705.99
Singapore7.707.988.11
Slovakia7.948.218.02
Slovenia7.888.377.97
Somalia4.674.93
South Africa6.937.307.08
South Korea8.118.398.20
Spain8.088.568.12
Sri Lanka6.336.586.41
Sudan4.314.484.32
Suriname7.207.647.48
Sweden8.668.838.50
Switzerland8.949.118.82
Syria3.303.663.79
Taiwan8.448.688.40
Tajikistan5.495.525.77
Tanzania6.246.486.26
Thailand6.496.896.55
Timor-Leste7.277.226.76
Togo6.256.506.31
Trinidad and Tobago7.537.706.62
Tunisia6.256.466.08
Turkey5.715.796.21
Uganda6.136.326.61
Ukraine6.686.866.26
United Arab Emirates5.766.066.13
United Kingdom8.308.758.47
United States8.238.738.46
Uruguay7.978.367.74
Venezuela4.094.033.80
Vietnam5.645.906.29
Yemen3.944.084.30
Zambia6.386.826.49
Zimbabwe5.255.605.65
showing: 165 rows

Freedom Index by Country 2024

Which country is the freest?

Switzerland is the freest country in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

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