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STATEMENT RELEASE: New S⁠t⁠udy Ranks Flor⁠i⁠da ⁠t⁠he 2nd Mos⁠t⁠ Econom⁠i⁠cally-Free S⁠t⁠a⁠t⁠e

By: Logan Padgett / 2019


November 7, 2019


Logan Elizabeth Padgett

(850) 386-3131

New Study Ranks Florida the 2nd Most Economically-Free State

TALLAHASSEE- A new report released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think tank, finds that Florida is the 2nd most economically-free state in the union, behind top-ranked New Hampshire (7.93) and above lowest-ranked New York (4.49), which ranked last for the fifth year in a row.

The Economic Freedom of North America report measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2017, the most recent year of available comparable data.

“When governments allow markets to decide what’s produced, how it’s produced and how much is produced, citizens enjoy greater levels of economic freedom,” said Fred McMahon, report co-author and the Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute.

This year’s report compares 162 countries and territories. In this year’s ranking—Hong Kong is again number one and Canada (8th) trails the United States (5th).

The report also includes an additional all-government ranking, which adds federal government policy to the index and includes the 50 U.S. states, 32 Mexican states and 10 Canadian provinces.

“Higher levels of economic freedom lead to more prosperity, greater economic growth, more investment, and more jobs and opportunities,” said Dean Stansel, report co-author and economics professor at Southern Methodist University.

“Placing the state of Florida as the second freest entity in North America, The Fraser Institute’s study confirms what we at The James Madison Institute have known throughout our thirty-year history. Freedom works every time it is tried. Given our diverse demographics, continued growth and dynamic economy, the Sunshine State serves as a model, not only for the rest of the states, but for the rest of the continent. Were Florida its own country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy, proving once again that free markets, limited government, the rule of law and the protection of private property allow most citizens the best opportunity for economic prosperity.”- Dr. Bob McClure, President and CEO, The James Madison Institute

The Economic Freedom of North America report, also co-authored by José Torra, the head of research at the Mexico City-based Caminos de la Libertad, is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index, the result of more than a quarter-century of work by more than 60 scholars, including three Nobel laureates.

Detailed tables for each country and subnational jurisdiction can be found at


Florida’s premier policy research think tank, The James Madison Institute is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the advancement of free markets and liberty. The Institute conducts research on such issues as criminal justice, health care, taxes, and regulatory environments.