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Global economic freedom up slightly—India ranks 96 among 162 countries on index

Bhutan ranks 73, Nepal 102, Sri Lanka 106, China 108, Bangladesh 120, Pakistan 132 and Myanmar 151 on the Global economic freedom index

Global economic freedom up slightly—India ranks 96 among 162 countries
Global economic freedom up slightly—India ranks 96 among 162 countries

New Delhi: India, while securing a rank of 96, has fared better on the Global economic freedom index than China that stood at 108. India’s positioning on the list this year is slightly better than the last year’s when it was ranked 98. The annual report 2018 was released by Centre For Civil Society in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute on September 25. The index ranks162 countries on the basis of economic freedom. Hong Kong and Singapore again topped the index, continuing their streak on the first and the second spots, respectively. New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the United States, Georgia, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada (tied for the 10th) rounded out the top 10.

The 2018 report was prepared by James Gwartney, Florida State University, Robert A Lawson and Ryan Murphy of Southern Methodist University, and Joshua Hall, West Virginia University.

It’s based on data from 2016 (the most recent year of available comparable data) and measures the economic freedom (levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately-owned property, rule of law, etc.) by analysing the policies and institutions of 162 countries and territories.

According to research in top peer-reviewed academic journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives.

The 10 lowest-ranked countries are Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Syria, Algeria, Argentina, Libya and last-place Venezuela. Some countries such as North Korea and Cuba could not be ranked due to lack of data.

Other top spots were taken by Germany (20th), Japan (41st), France (57th) and Russia (87th).

According to research in top peer-reviewed academic journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives.

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For example, countries in the top quartile (25 per cent) of economic freedom (such as the UK, Japan and Ireland) had an average per-capita income of US$40,376 in 2016 compared to US$5,649 for the bottom quartile countries (such as Venezuela, Iran and Zimbabwe).

And life expectancy is 79.5 years in the top quartile of countries compared to 64.4 years in the bottom quartile.

“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives,” said Fred McMahon, Dr Michael A Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute.

The Fraser Institute produces the annual Economic Freedom of the World report in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories. It measures and ranks countries in five areas: size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.

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