According to the ‘Human Freedom Index 2020: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom’ – 6th Annual Report released by Cato Institute of United States & Fraser Institute in Canada, India (overall score of 6.43) ranked 111 in the list of 162 countries. New Zealand (score – 8.87) topped the index followed by Switzerland (score – 8.82) & Hong Kong (score – 8.74).
i.The Human Freedom Index (HFI) 2020 is a global ranking of civil, economic & personal freedom, it uses data from 2008 to 2018.It was prepared by Ian Vásquez and Fred McMahon.
ii.India ranked 110/162 in Personal Freedom (Score – 6.30); 105/162 in Economic Freedom (Score – 6.56).
iii.In the Regional Wise Rankings, in South Asia, India secured 10th Rank among 17 countries.
iv.India was ranked 94 on the HFI 2019.
|Overall Rank||Country||Overall Score|
|3||Hong Kong SAR, China||8.74|
|162||Syrian Arab Republic||3.97|
HFI 2020 hased used 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom.
i.Indicators of Personal Freedom – Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion;Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression and Information, Identity and Relationships.
ii.Indicators of Economic Freedom – Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business
iii.Human Freedom – Based on Personal Freedom & Economic Freedom
i.The average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2018 was 6.93.
ii.Global Freedom level has decreased slightly by -0.04.
iii.The HFI 2020 report has stated that there is a strong correlation between human freedom & democracy; Level of Freedom & Income.
iv.Five categories saw major decline. They are Freedom of religion, identity & relationship freedoms, and the rule of law.
Highest & Lowest Levels of Freedom:
i.The Regions (out of 10 global regions) with highest levels of freedom are North America (Canada & United States), Western Europe, & East Asia.
ii.Regions with lowest levels of freedom are Middle East & North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, & South Asia.
i.Women-Specific Freedoms are strongest in North America, Western Europe & East Asia.
ii.They are least in the Middle East & North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, & South Asia.
Average per capita income & Freedom:
Countries which are placed in the top quartile of freedom have high average per capita income – USD 50, 340, Average per capita income of Countries in least free quartiles are USD 7, 720.
Freedom by Religion:
i.Majority of regions saw a decline in freedom of religion.
ii.South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and North America recorded the highest increase in harassment and hostilities towards particular religious’ groups in recent years.
Rankings of Neighbouring Countries:
Nepal – 92, China – 129, Bhutan – 108, Sri Lanka – 94, Bangladesh – 139, Pakistan – 140.
Rankings of Major Countries:
United States – 17, France – 33, United Kingdom -17.
About Cato Institute:
President, Chief Executive Officer – Peter N. Goettler
Location – Washington D.C., United States of America
About Fraser Institute:
Chairman – Peter Brown
Location – Vancouver, Canada