Freedom in the 50 States

Freedom in the 50 States 2013: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom

William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens

The latest edition of Freedom in the 50 States has now been released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Go to the website for the study to download the study and to use an easy interactive tool that allows you to see how the rankings change when you drop individual variables or whole categories of variables.

Here is the spreadsheet containing all the data used in the study. You can use this spreadsheet to re-weight individual policies and create your own, personalized freedom ranking. The “Instructions” tab in the spreadsheet contains instructions on how to do so.

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  1. Random-American » Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom

    […] Click here to view the paper and map (at bottom of page) […]

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    […] Source: Index of Freedom, Mercatus Center, George Mason University […]

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    […] with a few friends to head up to the ’shire (aka New Hampsire — which, according to “Freedom in the 50 States” authored by William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens and published by the Mercatus Center is tied […]

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  5. BradSpangler.com » Blog Archive » An Agorist Analysis of Nolan on Strategy at New Hampshire Liberty Forum

    […] are comparatively more or less statist than others, the Mercatus Center has recently published a comprehensive ranking of U.S. states, as well as their raw data that the study is based on, just in case you take issue with the way […]

  6. An Agorist Analysis of Nolan on Strategy at New Hampshire Liberty Forum « Little Alex in Wonderland

    […] than others, the Mercatus Center has recently published a comprehensive ranking of U.S. states [.pdf], as well as their raw data that the study is based on, just in case you take issue with the way […]

  7. meeciteewurkor » Oklahoma 18th Most Free State

    […] found this study through a WND article and found it highly interesting.  It cites a study done by the Meratus Center at George Mason University: This paper presents the first-ever comprehensive ranking of the American states on their public […]

  8. How Free is Your State? - The Political Hotwire

    […] Free is Your State? Freedom in the 50 States An interesting new study released last month ranks the states based on a number of categories […]

  9. From vanishing american on Beck’s 912 Project - Who is an America? How free is your state? Saving the North, Norris and Beck on secession and resistance, and Our former ’special relationship’ « Locust blog

    […] index can be found here, and a pdf file of the study is available there. The site also has a link to an interactive page by […]

  10. RadioActive Chief » Blog Archive » South Dakota: Free Indeed!

    […] Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom […]

  11. Freedom Across the Fruited Plain: A Study | Axis of Right

    […] it comes to securing people’s freedom.  She cites a George Mason University study “Freedom in the Fifty States” which is a comprehensive look [pdf] at all 50 states and ranks them based on their levels […]

  12. Ca Legislature & Govenor Benedict Arnold - California (CA) - Page 5 - City-Data Forum

    […] several criteria.California ranked 47th overall and ranked near the bottom in every factor. The original article is available only in PDF but here’s a blogger who lists the results in HTML: Freedom in the 50 […]

  13. With Liberty and Justice For Redness « Countenance Blog

    […] With Liberty and Justice For Redness 6 05 2009 A new paper released under the aegis of George Mason University and written by two Political Science Professors, one from the University of Buffalo, and the other from Texas State University at San Marcos, shows a fairly strong correlation between a state’s “redness” or “blueness” and how much individual freedom the citizens of those states have.  The redder the state, the freer are its people, and the bluer the state, the less free are its peopl…. […]

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    […] A new paper released under the aegis of George Ma&#115&#111&#110 University and written by two Political Science P&#114&#111&#102essors, one from the University of Buffalo, and th&#101&#32&#111ther from Texas State University at San Marcos, sh&#111&#119&#115 a fairly strong correlation between a state’s “redness” or “blueness” and how much individual freedom the citizens of t&#104&#111&#115e states have.  The redder the state, the freer a&#114&#101&#32its people, and the bluer the state, the less free&#3…. […]

  15. With Liberty and Justice For Redness | ed hochuli

    […] A new paper released under the aegis of George Ma&#115&#111&#110 University and written by two Political Science P&#114&#111&#102essors, one from the University of Buffalo, and th&#101&#32&#111ther from Texas State University at San Marcos, sh&#111&#119&#115 a fairly strong correlation between a state’s “redness” or “blueness” and how much individual freedom the citizens of t&#104&#111&#115e states have.  The redder the state, the freer a&#114&#101&#32its people, and the bluer the state, the less free&#3…. […]

  16. With Liberty and Justice For Redness | illinois lottery

    […] A new paper released under the aegis of George Ma&#115&#111&#110 University and written by two Political Science P&#114&#111&#102essors, one from the University of Buffalo, and th&#101&#32&#111ther from Texas State University at San Marcos, sh&#111&#119&#115 a fairly strong correlation between a state’s “redness” or “blueness” and how much individual freedom the citizens of t&#104&#111&#115e states have.  The redder the state, the freer a&#114&#101&#32its people, and the bluer the state, the less free&#3…. […]

  17. With Liberty and Justice For Redness | briant rodriguez

    […] A new paper released under the aegis of George Ma&#115&#111&#110 University and written by two Political Science P&#114&#111&#102essors, one from the University of Buffalo, and th&#101&#32&#111ther from Texas State University at San Marcos, sh&#111&#119&#115 a fairly strong correlation between a state’s “redness” or “blueness” and how much individual freedom the citizens of t&#104&#111&#115e states have.  The redder the state, the freer a&#114&#101&#32its people, and the bluer the state, the less free&#3…. […]

  18. tandemrandom.com » Personal Freedom, by State

    […] “Index of Freedom,” maintained by the Mercatus Center at Georgia State University, is the first-ever […]

  19. Statistical Proof that You Hate Freedom | Bloggers For Change

    […] Well, it’s just about the most important thing ever. It’s a based on a completely non-ideological study of personal freedom in the 50 states. Produced by a non-ideological assistant prof of politics at […]

  20. tandemrandom.com » Personal Freedom, by State

    […] “Index of Freedom,” maintained by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, is the first-ever […]

  21. NtM - May 18, 2009 | News That Matters

    […] Read the study here […]

  22. Study Names "Most Free" States; California Ranks Poorly | The-Informer

    […] recent George Mason University study ranked the 50 U.S. states on a freedom scale, attempting to turn the various economic, social, and […]

  23. Freedom in the 50 States « Gently Hew Stone

    […] by Huston on June 4, 2009 I just found out about a recent study of how much relative freedom still exists in each of the 50 American states.  Rankings are […]

  24. Excelsior! | Political Class Dismissed

    […] (source) […]

  25. Does any one living in MD feel their personal freedoms are limited by the state laws?? - Maryland - Page 2 - City-Data Forum

    […] believe this is a link to the study: Freedom in the 50 States It appears pretty comprehensive and uses many factors to arrive at the rankings. As a lifelong […]

  26. Freedom? Oregon’s fair to middlin’ | Travel News Tips - Top Destinations

    […] to this study, the Beaver State is the 27th most free place in the country — and freest on the West Coast. […]

  27. The Antiplanner :: Ranking States by Freedom :: http://ti.org/antiplanner

    […] scholars at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center have compiled an assessment of the personal and economic freedom enjoyed by residents of each state. Similar studies from Cato, […]

  28. Freedom In The 50 States, Let Freedom Ring « Goodtimepolitics

    […] August 12, 2009 · Leave a Comment Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom We find that the freest states in the country are New Hampshire, Colorado, and South Dakota, which together achieve a virtual tie for first place. All three states feature low taxes and government spending and middling levels of regulation and paternalism. New York is the least free by a considerable margin, followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, California and Maryland. On personal freedom alone, Alaska is the clear winner, while Maryland brings up the rear. As for freedom in the different regions of the country, the Mountain and West North Central regions are the freest overall while the Middle Atlantic lags far behind on both economic and personal freedom. SOURCE […]

  29. Twitter Trackbacks for Freedom in the 50 States [statepolicyindex.com] on Topsy.com

    […] Freedom in the 50 States http://www.statepolicyindex.com/?page_id=143 – view page – cached This paper presents the first-ever comprehensive ranking of the American states on their public policies affecting individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. We develop and justify our ratings and aggregation procedure on explicitly normative criteria, defining individual freedom as the ability to dispose of one’s own life, liberty, and justly acquired property however one sees fit, so long as one does not coercively infringe on other individuals’ ability to do the same. — From the page […]

  30. Duh, NY is the highest-taxed state | Political Class Dismissed

    […] NY is also the least free state overall. […]

  31. Comparing Democratic vote share with personal freedom « Belligerati

    […] out this graph: Personal Freedom, by State, State and Local Public Policies in the United States, Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom I have long been skeptical that the Democrats deliver on their promises of personal freedom, but […]

  32. West Virginia Not So Free According to Mercatus Study

    […] Mercatus Center at George Mason University released a report recently, titled “Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.” The report, written by William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens, is a first for the […]

  33. Idaho a High-Tax State? : : Dollarology

    […] considered one of the most conservative states in the country. Recently some scholars produced a report on the fifty states ranking them by freedom. Idaho has one of the best scores on economic freedom, […]

  34. Where Are the Libertarians? | Think Tank West

    […] “actually influence the overall policy regime of a state,” no doubt drawing on his paper with William Ruger, “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic […]

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    […] states — typically the blue states — and into economically freer states (as measured in Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom (March 5, […]

  36. Carl for Governor | Political Class Dismissed

    […] The Times (the elite’s newsletter to the masses), said Carl would be a national embarrassment. Wrong! Carl can cure our national embarrassment of being the least free state. […]

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    […] Freedom in the 50 States (Watch,Freedom,USA,Data,Visualization,Analysis) […]

  38. Where Are the Libertarians? | Cato @ Liberty

    […] “actually influence the overall policy regime of a state,” no doubt drawing on his paper with William Ruger, “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic […]

  39. links for 2011-03-27 « Marty Andrade

    […] Freedom in the 50 States // Not surprisingly, Minnesota doesn't do so well. (tags: politics freedom economics statistics philosophy libertarian map numbersandstudies) […]

  40. Links | Free To Prosper

    […] 2010 US State Freedom Index […]

  41. Laws and Rights | Free To Prosper

    […] 2010 US State Freedom Index […]

  42. States 50 | AllGraphicsOnline.com

    […] Freedom in the 50 States statepolicyindex.com […]

  43. State and Local Economic Development Programs

    […] is true, of course, that California’s business climate is abysmal. According to Sorens and Ruger, California is number 44 in terms of fiscal freedom (with 50 being the least-free), and 46 in terms […]

  44. Economically Free States see 30 Percent Faster Job Growth

    […] economic freedom component of the Freedom in the 50 States Index by Sorens and Ruger would almost certainly fall into this category too, but since the authors […]

  45. Update (6/7/2011)

    […] at statepolicyindex.com, you can find all the data used in the study. On our page for the study you will find the spreadsheet used for creating the freedom rankings, which you can download and […]

  46. Freedom in the 50 States

    […] So, they focus on individual rights, and as individuals you can use this information to vote with your feet, whether it’s for job relocation, retirement or a SHTF bunker.  I’ll do a little bit of break down of some of the key points I took away, but my views on personal freedom might not match with your views, so I highly encourage you to read the pdf, and then if you want personalized weightings, go into the data and weight the freedoms that are most important to you, to see how that changes the ratings. You can do that from this site. http://www.statepolicyindex.com/freedom-in-the-50-states/ […]

  47. freedom by alexko - Pearltrees

    […] The latest edition of Freedom in the 50 States has now been released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University . Go to the website for the study to download the study and to use an easy interactive tool that allows you to see how a state’s ranking changes when some of its policies change. Freedom in the 50 States […]

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