2015 State of World Liberty Index

by Patrick Rhamey

The State of World Liberty Index was a combination of indices compiled originally in 2006 by Nick Wilson.  Since then, I've periodically updated the index.  My methodology is similar to the original with the following exceptions: I use only the civil liberties portion of the Freedom House, economic liberty (Fraser/Heritage) is weighted evenly with social liberty, and the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Scores are of equal weight to each of the Freedom House Civil Liberties sub-components.  All changes are done with the purpose of creating the most accurate relative ranking of countries by the degree of liberty (economic and social) enjoyed by the average individual within the state or territory.  Note, the ranking is not reflective of, nor does it include, political or electoral rights.  Where data is available, territories or colonies (e.g. Hong Kong) are included.

2015 Rankings

2015 Liberty by Quintile.  Colors represent countries grouped by quintiles in order of blue (top 20%), green (20-40%), yellow (40-60%), orange (60-80%), and red (80-100%).

2015 Changes in Liberty.  Blue is an increase in rank by >11 and green >5.  Orange is a fall in rank of >5 and red >11.

2015 Most Free Countries:*

1. Bahamas
1. Hong Kong
3. Dominica
3. St. Lucia
5. Barbados
5. New Zealand
5. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
8. Australia
8. Canada
8. Switzerland

*note data for Liechtenstein on economic freedom, tied in 2014 with Bahamas for overall most free, was not available in the most recent time period.

2015 Most Tyrannical States

1. North Korea
2. Venezuela
2. Central African Republic
4. Zimbabwe
5. Iran
5. Cuba
7. Eritrea
8. Ethiopia
8. Equatorial Guinea
8. Republic of Congo
8. Chad

2015 Greatest Increases in Liberty:

1. Madagascar
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Democratic Republic of Congo
3. Myanmar
5. Tunisia
6. Fiji
6. Qatar
6. Mozambique
9. Uzbekistan
10. Costa Rica
10. Sao Tome y Principe
10. Georgia

2015 Greatest Increases in Tyranny:

1. Thailand
2. Argentina
3. Turkey
4. Malawi
5. Ecuador
6. Egypt
6. Hungary
8. Lebanon
9. Iran
9. Slovenia


Colored maps modified from images at http://www.outline-world-map.com/.