Wednesday , 26 October 2016

U.S. & Canada Don’t Rank In the Top 5 “Most Free Countries” – Which Countries Do?

A survey on just how free people are to enjoy classic civil liberties — freedom of speech, religion, individual economic choice, and association and assembly — has revealed that Canada ranks 6th out of 152 countries and jurisdictions while the U.S. is a distant 20th. Why does Canada rank higher than the United States, a country often referred to as the ‘Land of Liberty’? Guess which countries ranked in the top 5? Where does your country rank?

The survey, using 76 indicators, was compiled by Canada’s Fraser Institute and public-policy think-tanks in Germany (Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom) and the United States (Cato Institute) and is called The Human Freedom Index and is available as a free PDF download at

Below are some of the highlights.


The level of global freedom stayed about the same compared to 2008, but almost all countries experienced changes in their ratings, with about half of those increasing their ratings and half decreasing.

Top 5

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, tops the rankings followed by Switzerland, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand rounding out the top five.

Bottom 5

The least free country in the index is Iran. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Yemen round out the bottom five.


According to the data, Canada scores well on security and safety, the rule of law and economic freedom which is based on personal choice, trade openness, freedom to compete, security of private property and judicial independence.

United States

The data points to a “significant weakening of the rule of law” and an erosion of property rights and “an expansion of quasi-judicial regulations” over time.

Other Countries

Japan (28), France (33), Singapore (43), South Africa (70), India (75), Brazil (82), Russia (111), China (132), Nigeria (139), Saudi Arabia (141), Venezuela (144).
By Region
Out of 17 regions, the highest levels of freedom are in Northern Europe, North America (Canada and the United States), and Western Europe.
The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and
South Asia.
Women’s Freedoms
Women’s freedoms, as measured by five relevant indicators in the index, are most protected in Europe and North America and least protected in South Asia, Sub-
Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.


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