Flor⁠i⁠da Ranks #1 ⁠i⁠n Overall Freedom

By: The James Madison Institute / 2018

August 22, 2018
CONTACT: Logan Elizabeth Padgett

Florida Ranks #1 in Overall Freedom

Today, the CATO Institute, one the world’s leading think tanks, released its annual Economic Freedom of the States report, honoring the Sunshine State as number one in overall freedom. In addition, Florida ranked first in two other categories in fiscal policy, economic freedom, and 11th in overall personal freedom.

Quoting from the study, “Florida’s rise since 2009 has been nothing short of stunning. While most states have improved on freedom in that time if federalized policies are excluded, Florida’s post-2010 improvement has been the third greatest in the United States (after Wisconsin and Alaska). Florida’s improvement has lain almost entirely in fiscal policy, where the numbers tell a consistent story: government consumption, local taxes, state taxes, debt, and government employment have all fallen as a share of the private economy.”

Statements from the authors and JMI senior staff:

“Floridians should be proud of their #1 ranking in the newest edition of Freedom in the 50 States.  Florida’s leaders have largely avoided restrictive policies that have harmed economic growth in other states while making opportunity-enhancing reforms that have benefited current residents and the hundreds flocking to the state each day.  But there is still work to do to reduce unhelpful regulations on businesses and restrictions on personal freedom if Florida wants to retain its title as freest state in the country.”
William P. Ruger – Author of “Freedom in the 50 States,” The CATO Institute

“It is a testament to the great leadership we have had here in Florida that we can celebrate the Sunshine State as the freest state in the nation. Freedom combined with rule of law provides all Floridians regardless of one’s station in life a chance at the American Dream- the Florida Dream. This ranking is emblematic of why the 2018 election is so pivotal for Florida’s Future. We have a choice – to continue the path of opportunity for all we have forged or turn toward the proven failed policies of states that see the continued growth of government while individual liberties recedes.”
Dr. J. Robert McClure – President and CEO, The James Madison Institute

“While it is great to be publicly recognized, for those of us who spend every day in the policy trenches it’s not a surprise. Over the past two decades Florida has made tremendous strides protecting liberty, limiting government intrusion into the lives of Floridians, and promoting economic prosperity. It’s why more than $156 billion in annual income has migrated from high tax states like New York (which came in worst) to Florida.”
Sal Nuzzo – Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute

To read the CATO Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the States report, click here: https://www.freedominthe50states.org/ 


As Florida’s premier free-market think tank, The James Madison Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational organization. The Institute conducts research on such issues as health care, taxes, and regulatory environments.