Monday, November 11, 2019

Latest Economic Freedom of the World Report is Out

The Economic Freedom of the World: 2019 Annual Report is out from the Fraser Institute  (Note: Walter Block was instrumental in creating the ratings project).

For what it is worth, Hong Kong and Singapore retain the top two positions with a score of 8.91 and 8.71 out of 10, respectively. The rest of this year’s top scores are New Zealand, Switzerland, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Mauritius. However, I do not believe any country should have a rank above 5.0 if the government of that country maintains a central bank and manipulates the money supply.

The rankings of other large economies in this year’s index are Japan (17th), Germany (20th), Italy (46th), France (50th), Mexico (76th), Russia (85th), India (79th), China (113th), and Brazil (120th). The 10 lowest-rated countries are: Iraq, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Algeria, Sudan, Libya, and lastly Venezuela.

The full table is here:

(The report is based on 2017 data.)



  1. There are a lot of issues with how ones IQ is determined let alone the IQ of groups and regions. There is also the correlation does not necessarily equal causation argument. But, Hong Kong and Singapore are ranked 1 and 2 for IQ and there is more than a little correlation between a countries Economic Freedom and IQ along with income and daily max temperature. That said, Singapore is hot and humid but still ranks high in all categories.

    Take it for what it is worth:

    1. I am not sure. Are you saying the average IQ in hong kong was much lower 60 years ago when it was a backwater nothing? I think its probably more to do with Sir John James Cowperthwaite. Also, did the US move up many rankings or is it just me?

    2. What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

      I’m not sure either. I do not know the historical IQ rankings. I agree that the economic freedom in HK has more to do with economic policies than IQ. By pointing out the correlation between IQ and economic freedom I am asking the question: how much does one have to do with the other?

      Most likely the IQ in HK was pretty high when Cowperthwaite started his stint there. If Cowperthwaite did his deeds where the average IQ was in the lower quintile rather than the upper how would he have done? Probably pretty good. Free markets will attract the best and the brightest from both the native residence and from abroad. Just as they have done in HK.