The United States scored 76 on the Economic Freedom Index, the lowest it has scored since 2000. The Economic Freedom Index is a measure of the economic freedoms afforded to the citizens of 185 countries, compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based conservative research think tank, Heritage Foundation.
Over the past year, the United States has experienced a decline in the levels of monetary, business, labor and fiscal freedom.
Higher government spending, poor policy choices and a trend towards cronyism have eroded the economic freedoms and discouraged entrepreneurial growth, said the report.
Hong Kong is the region that allows its citizens the greatest economic freedoms, according to the report. Hong Kong had the highest score on the Economic Freedom Index -- 89.3, 0.6 points lower than in 2012.
Hong Kong’s very efficient regulatory system, transparent legal framework and low levels of corruption have made for a sophisticated and resilient economy.
Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland were all among the top 5 countries in this list.
The countries that afforded the least economic freedoms to their people were North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Eritrea.
The world average was a score of 58.2.
Here’s an interactive map of all 185 countries featured on the Economic Freedom Index, color-coded by their scores. Click on any country to see how it scored overall on the Economic Freedom Index, and how it scored on specific categories like "fiscal freedom," "business freedom," "property rights," and so on:
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