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India ranks 111 out of 162 countries in the Human Freedom Index 2020; New Zealand tops the index

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India ranks 111 out of 162 countries on personal freedom indexAccording 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 Rankings:

Overall Rank Country Overall Score
111 India 6.43
1 New Zealand 8.87
2 Switzerland 8.82
3 Hong Kong SAR, China 8.74
160 Venezuela 4.08
161 Sudan 4.01
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

Key Points:

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.

Women-Specific Freedoms:

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