State of World Liberty Index
The State of World Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

is a ranking of countries according to the degree of economic and personal freedoms that their citizens enjoy; each country is given a score between 0 and 100. The Index defines freedom
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

 as "the ability for the individual to live their lives as they choose, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same."

Only one report (the 2006 State of World Liberty Index, released 12 August 2006) has yet been produced by the State of World Liberty Project. Although the organization stated in 2006 that it would continue to release updated reports annually, no further reports have been published as of October 2009. However, others have created rankings for 2008 and 2009 using the 2006 methodology.

The index has been cited by human rights organisations, governments, pro-democracy groups, news organisations, and others.,23,GOOD%20GOVERNANCE


The 2006 State of World Liberty Index was created by combining the rankings of four other indexes of world liberty into one: the "2005 Economic Freedom of the World" Index (Fraser Institute
Fraser Institute
The Fraser Institute is a Canadian think tank. It has been described as politically conservative and right-wing libertarian and espouses free market principles...

/Cato Institute), the "2006 Index of Economic Freedom" (The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

/Wall Street Journal), the "2005 Freedom in the World" index (Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

), and the "2005 Press Freedom Index" (Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...


These reports are used to score countries in three categories: individual freedom, economic freedom
Economic freedom
Economic freedom is a term used in economic and policy debates. As with freedom generally, there are various definitions, but no universally accepted concept of economic freedom...

, and government size and taxation. These three scores are then averaged to give a country's overall score.

2006 rankings

In the 2006 index, Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 was ranked most free overall, with a score of 85.25; North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 was last with a score of 6.80. Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

was ranked most free in both the economic liberty category and the government size and taxation category, but a personal freedom score of only 61.74 greatly reduced its overall ranking.

Thirty-five countries (22%) scored above 99 in the individual freedom category. The complete rankings can be viewed here.
Rank Country

Rank Country

External links

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