Ranking of Freedom in the 50 States – Guess Which is the Least Free…


This week the libertarian Cato Institute released its “Freedom in the 50 States” report, showing which states are “least free” and “most free” based on a variety of data.

The study found New Hampshire as the most free. However, the least free state has held this ranking since 2000: New York. According to Cato, it’s No. 1 problem is fiscal policy.

“If New York were to adopt a fiscal regime closer to that of California, New Jersey, or Connecticut, its overall economic freedom score would be close to theirs. As it is, New York looks set to remain the least free state for many years to come,” an analysis of the data reads.

Here are more issues that were analyzed about New York, plus a map provided by the Cato Institute showcasing the rankings across the U.S.:

“Land-use freedom is very low, primarily because of the economically devastating rent control law in New York City. Local zoning is actually fairly moderate compared with surrounding states not named “Pennsylvania.” Renewable portfolio standards are high. The state enacted a minimum wage in 2013-14 and also has a short-term disability insurance mandate. Cable and telecommunications are unreformed. Occupational freedom is a bit subpar, but nurse practitioners did gain some independence in 2013-14. Insurance freedom is a mixed bag (the state has stayed out of the IIPRC), but property and casualty insurers gained some freedom to set rates in 2013-14. The civil liability system looks poor, but we may underrate it slightly because of the state’s large legal sector.”


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