Thursday, 18 January 2007

Economic Freedom of the World 2007 Report

The Heritage Foundation, an American right-wing think tank and The Wall Street Journal have just released their Economic Freedom of the World 2007 Annual Report. Hong Kong and Singapore come first and second respectively, with Australia coming in third. The US got fourth spot. New Zealand's economic freedoms have risen, with us coming in fifth, up four places from last year (wonder what Helen's been doing?). Ninth was our lowest score in decades, coming down from 3rd in the 1990s (ahhh, there she is). And, pleasing to say, generally economic freedoms around the world have increased.

Australia got 9th tied with NZ last year, which was it's highest in decades. So, Australians have seen a steady increase in their economic freedoms. European countries hold 10 of the 20 highest spots. The UK comes 6th, with Ireland 7th. Luxembourg and Switzerland come 8th and 9th respectively. The Nordic welfare states (Norway at 30th, Finland at 16, Sweden at 21 and Denmark at 13) are all well above France at 45 and Italy at 60, which is lower than Namibia at 55. Japan is at 18th, just above Germany at 19th. Belarus, part of the former USSR is the lowest European nation, at 145. Estonia, is the highest of the former USSR states at 12th. China is at 119.

Meanwhile, the lowest scoring nations were North Korea at 157 and Cuba at 156. Hugo Chavez's Venezuala is at 144.

The survey is based on a number of criteria, including property rights protection, tax rates, currency, trade and economic intervention by the government.

NBR Article



Kane Bunce said...

I bet NZ's rise is purely a result of other nations getting worse but that Clark will use it as proof of Labour's "greatness" anyway.

Callum said...

I don't think Helen will be all pleased... she is leader of the LABOUR Party.
Anyway, the global trend is towards more freedom, and I think the only areas that have seen a decrease are North Africa and the Middle East, from surveys done in 2005 and 2006. However, I doubt that NZ's rise really does have anything to do with the government. Other factors also contribute to economic freedom.