According to the latest index from The Economist the answer is Switzerland followed by Australia, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. For those of you looking for the United States (16) and Britain (27) in the top ten.
Libertarian think tank the Cato Institute released its annual Economic Freedom of the World report which includes an index of countries ranked by economic freedom. It should come as no surprise that the index does not look favorably upon the United Sates who comes in ranked 18th in the world. There are some interesting points of similarity and divergence between the two indices
Cato's 5 most economically free countries (Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria) are all in the top ten of the Economist's index. However, Mauritus and Bahrain, two nations considered to have high economic freedoms, do not make the list for The Economist. Also, Norway (3) and Sweden (4), are ranked 25 and 30 by the Cato Institute.
I find that most interesting cases are the former communist countries:
- Despite more than 30 years of spectacular growth, and more growth projected over the next two decades, China comes in at 49 out of 80, below every South American country other than Ecuador.
- Despite a stifling lack of economic freedom, Cuba ranks 40th overall, ahead of several South American and Eastern European countries.
- Russia ranks 71st out of 80, just ahead of Syria and below a number of countries with much lower GDP per capita.