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United States remains far behind countries with greater economic freedom

Citizens of capitalist countries enjoy greater independence and control over their money.

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The Heritage Foundation revealed which nations have the best and worst economic freedom ratings. According to its 2023 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States has a score of 70.6 points, down 1.5 points from 2022, which ranks 25th in the world.

Despite ranking high on the list, all U.S. economic ratings fell except "labor freedom" and "trade freedom," which improved, and "fiscal health," "investment freedom" and "financial freedom," which remained the same. In addition to these categories, the U.S. organization breaks down economic freedom into the following indicators: "property rights," "judicial efficiency," "government integrity," "fiscal pressure," "public spending," "business freedom" and "monetary freedom."

Economic freedom is "the fundamental right of every human being to control his or her own labor and property," as defined by The Heritage Foundation.

In order to prepare its study, the organization ranked 184 countries according to their level of economic freedom. The countries are sorted into the following sections: fully free, with a score between 80 and 100; fairly free, between 70 and 79.9; moderately free, between 60 and 69.9; very little freedom, between 50 and 59.9; and economically repressed nations, with a score of less than 49.9.

Capitalism rewards, communism punishes

According to the study, Singapore is the country with the world's greatest economic freedom, with a score of 83.9, followed by Switzerland (83.8), Ireland (82.0) and Taiwan (80.7). They are the only nations that enjoy exceed a ranking of 80.

The second level includes most central and northern European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. In addition to the United States, there are three North and South American countries in this section: Canada, Chile and Uruguay. Also, other countries such as New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Mauritius. In total, 23 capitalist nations are ranked as "moderately free," in addition to the "fully free" Singapore, Switzerland, Ireland and Taiwan.

On the other side of the scale are economically repressed countries, whose system does not grant economic freedom to its citizens and companies. The countries classified as "economically repressed" include: China (48.3), Venezuela (25.8), Cuba (24.3) and North Korea (2.9), nations that are or have been governed under communist forms of government. This section also includes Haiti (49.9), Egypt (49.6) and Bolivia (43.4).

There are other countries that The Heritage Foundation could not classify, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.