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2021 Index of Economic Freedom

Singapore led the Index of Economic Freedom in 2021, with an index score of 89.7 out of 100. New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland, and Ireland rounded out the top five.

Economic Freedom Index

In order to calculate the Economic Freedom Index, the source takes 12 different factors into account, including the rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. All 12 factors are rated on a scale of zero to 100 and are weighted equally. Every country is rated within the Index in order to provide insight into the health and freedom of the global economy.

Hong Kong’s economy

Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China, had a GDP of about 340 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. There were 3.82 million employed people in 2017, with a low unemployment rate to match. Impressively, in 2018, Hong Kong’s governmental debt amounted to 190 million U.S. dollars, which only goes to show the strength of its economy.

Country ranking of the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom

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Release date

March 2021



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* The Index of Economic Freedom measures the degree of economic freedom in a country on a scale from 0 to 100, based on four complex sets of indicators. The sets of indicators are: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).

Economic freedom is defined by the Heritage Foundation as the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.

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