Yesterday, the Fraser Institute released its annual report, Economic Freedom of North America 2013. The report measures the impact government restrictions have on economic freedom in the United States and Canada, taking into account:
- Size of government
- Takings and discriminatory taxation
- Legal system and property rights
- Sound money
- Freedom to trade internationally
The research found a positive relationship between economic freedom and overall flourishing. The freer states showed higher growth rates, more entrepreneurial activity, and an increase in the growth of income in the lowest income quintile.
According to the report, the freest state is Delaware, closely followed by Texas and Nevada. The least free states are Mississippi and West Virginia, with New Mexico coming in dead last.
But to my surprise, Alberta and Saskatchewan were rated freer than any U.S. state. So the next time someone jokes about moving to Canada, I might take them a little more seriously.