How the CATO institute ranks freedom


The CATO institute is a pretty right wing/libertarian think tank closely associated with the Koch brothers.

Each year they present a study to measure human freedom per country. The ranking takes 79 distinct indicators grouped by human and economic freedom. This ranking is clearly influenced by their thinking/values, for example a small "size of government" increases your freedom ranking, this is debatable. Nonetheless its interesting to understand how they view "freedom" around the world.

The main points of human freedom are:

  • Rule of law (justice)
  • Security and safety
  • Movement
  • Religious freedom
  • Association, assembly and civil society
  • Expression and information
  • Identity and relationship

And for economic freedom:

  • Size of Government
  • Legal system and proof rights
  • Sound money (inflation, deviation of inflation)
  • Freedom to trade
  • Regulation
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Check out my other map 'How CATO ranks Human vs Economic Freedom' here -