Economic Freedom Index: Hong Kong Tops the Game & India Shows Decent Improvement (Infographic) People living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties and live longer

By Aastha Singal

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India has a great potential for growth in every sector. Time and again, the fact has been questioned, proved and used to push the economy towards better results. The Indian Government has enforced the rapid transformation of India's status in a a global scenario with much confidence. In some sectors, the country has moved up the pedestal but is yet to make an impact globally.

Surveys conducted by different organizations with different parameters at a different point in time work to prove a country's growth. Recently, a World Bank report suggests that India stands fourth in the world list of highest number of stunted people in the workforce whereas the National Family Health Survey has revealed some worrisome figures with respect to malnutrition and health.

The Economic Freedom Index has come as a harbinger of good news for India as the country has risen up the charts by two positions. The report produced by Canada's Fraser Institute in association with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories places India on 96th position among the 162 countries.

Based on the data of 2016, India has climbed up from 98th position on the basis of improvement recorded in parameters like legal system and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business. The country was unable to score as much in size of the government.

Flag-bearers of Freedom Index

As expected, Hong Kong and Singapore have retained the top spots followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, United States, Georgia, Mauritius, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, the last two tied for 10th place. The stats are surprising as the United States has returned to top 10 positions after years of absence. During the 2009–2016, its score had declined continuously.

The countries in the top quartile have almost 8 times the average per capita income of the bottom quartile nations. Among the other crucial factors determining the prosperity of nations, the life expectancy is 79.5 years in the top quartile of countries compared to 64.4 years in the bottom quartile.

Ones we Can't Neglect

Some of the other major countries are Germany at 20th position, Japan at 41, Italy at 54th, France at 57th, Mexico at 82nd, Russia 87th, India 96th, China 108th and Brazil at 144th position. Among the BRICS countries, Russia and South Africa (94) are ahead of India whereas the other behind.

The report has suggested that people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and live longer. "Worldwide, economic freedom has increased during the past three decades; moreover, the increase in economic freedom of developing economies since 1990 has been more rapid than the increase of high-income industrial countries," the report read.

Nations at high risk

The lowest rated countries include Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Syria, Algeria, Argentina, Libya, and lastly Venezuela. The index has shown that economically free nations have outperformed non-free nations in indicators of well-being, gender equality and level of happiness.

The report calculates economic freedom on the basis of self ownership. It measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. Three countries - Belarus, Iraq, and Sudan - were added this year, bringing the total number of jurisdictions in the index to 162.

Wavy Line
Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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