The Tar Heel State is in the top tier of economically free states, according to the latest rankings from the Fraser Institute.
North Carolina ranks 6th out of the 50 states, only bested by New Hampshire, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and South Dakota. The five least free states are New York, Vermont, California, Oregon, and Hawaii.
The report measures “the policies of North American jurisdictions were supportive of economic freedom, the ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere free of undue restrictions” for the 2021 year, when the most recent data was available.
The findings are based on factors like government spending, taxes, labor market freedom, legal systems and property rights, sound money, and the freedom to trade internationally.
For the world index, the United States ranks 5th globally behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and New Zealand. The bottom five least free countries are Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.
In a news release, Fraser Institute scholars noted that Canada performed particularly poorly on the rankings, with each province ranking in the bottom half of jurisdictions on economic freedom markers for the first time.
“The trajectory of economic freedom in Canada could lead to weakness in economic growth and prosperity in the years ahead,” said Fred McMahon, the Dr. Michael A. Walker research chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the report. “Since 2014, all Canadian provinces have suffered significant declines in economic freedom at the all-government level, while a majority of provinces also suffered declines at the subnational level.”