Heritage and the Wall Street Journal released the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom on Thursday, ranking 179 countries on 10 benchmarks that gauge their economic success. This year Heritage introduced a new interactive feature that gives you the opportunity to create a comparative graph.
This week’s chart shows how the United States stacks up against Canada and the United Kingdom. As recently as 2009, the United States led both countries in economic freedom. But after four years of decline, the United States is heading in the wrong direction. This year it fell to 10th in the Index of Economic Freedom.
For the 18th straight year, Hong Kong and Singapore finished first and second in the rankings, followed this year by Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. North Korea was at the bottom of the rankings. All contents of the book are available online.
A few notable developments in this year’s Index:
- Mauritius was eighth with an overall score of 77 and became the first Sub-Saharan country to rank among the top 10.
- Greece’s score declined the most, plunging nearly five points to 55.4.
- Zimbabwe finished next to last among the 179 countries rated but showed the biggest gains in economic freedom.
The Index of Economic Freedom was first released in 1995 by the Wall Street Journal and Heritage to measure economist Adam Smith’s theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom among countries today.