Government Watch

Which States are the Most Free? This Map Shows Americans Where to Live If They Crave Liberty

The John Locke Foundation, a North Carolinian think tank, created an index to rate the freedom of individual states. The ratings were determined by giving 50% weight to fiscal policy (a measure of taxation and budget policy), 20% to educational policy, 20% to regulatory policy, and 10% to health care policy:

  • The most free states in order from most free to 5th most free are: Florida, Arizona, Indiana, South Dakota, and Georgia.
  • The least free states in order from worst to 5th worse are: New York, New Jersey, California, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
  • The most fiscally free states are: South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Texas, and Florida.
  • The most educationally free states are: Florida, Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, and Louisiana.
  • The states most free from regulation are: Iowa, Georgia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Vermont.
  • The states most free in health-care choice are: Idaho, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Indiana.

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Source: John Locke Foundation, “First in Freedom Index,” February 2015.

 

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646 Comments on "Which States are the Most Free? This Map Shows Americans Where to Live If They Crave Liberty"

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Good old New York State…..Dead last again. Good thing that incompetent dictator Cuomo is really turning things around.

Could be worse. You could live in New Jersey

California at one time was truly a great state until it was hijacked by a corrupt bunch of low-lifes known as the democrat party.`

New Jersey just below New York? New Jersey has been so messed up for so long, there is no end to this dark tunnel. Along with horrible Governors, sadly to say I voted for some of them, we are stuck with a legislature that are only looking out for themselves and think finding a state bird is more important that getting rid of corruption in this state. Of course if they did get rid of corruption, they would all be out of work. Sometime I wonder why I vote.

You are off your freaking rocker, I live in Florida, you can’t have a business without a hundred licenses, you can not DO ANYTHING on your home without permits and everybody’s permission. This is one of the LEAST FREE states, get your head out and try some reality.

You’re going to have to comply with local zoning regulations almost anywhere and it’s a good thing that consumers are protected from unlicensed businesses. So yeah, Florida has normal regulations and restrictions on both businesses and homeowners. I live in Florida too. I just have to guess, relative to other states, Florida has fewer restrictions. For that, we should be grateful. Have you lived in other states to be able to compare?

Governmental rotections are mostly a racket. Lookup voluntaryism.

Thank God I’m a Floridian, I just hope the Liberals from the Northeast don’t move down and start asking for handouts. Americans need to wake up and understand what debt, like our national debt of 17 trillions dollars really means, because it will take US A!! down, irregardless of what state we live. Socialism will absolutely lower the standard for everyone, then no-one will thrive. Good fascial policies aren’t a good idea, they are the only way to survive & thrive. Spend less then you make and it will set you Free, indeed.

Irregardless isn’t a word. You were looking for regardless.

We don’t need GRAMMARIANS. Just comment on what was said.

Now that West Virginia has passed Right to Work or Workplace Freedom we ought to improve by a few places.

True. Thanks!

I live in Florida 27 years, and I don’t know about the assessment for this state. But of all the states listed, Delaware is not shown? MD is a lousy Democratic one and heavily taxed.

Thanks

Delaware is #22 – isn’t it?

THAT WAS THE VERY FIRST TIME I POSTED A COMMENT.

So am I the only one who was raised with the “don’t talk religion or politics” credo! People, lets all take a breath. We still live (though some days it may not seem like it) in the most amazing country on this planet. We have our problems and we need to address them, but we will never solve them if our hands are around each others throats instead of on the issues. We have allowed the politicians (on both sides) to herd us into camps and label us “left wing nuts” or “right wing extremist” which allows them to ignore and demean all Americans. Think long and hard before you vote this election – not about what “free” stuff you are being promised but about what is in our collective best interest. Boarders, language and culture are not just talking points, they are the very fabric of what makes this… Read more »

Trudy, isn’t what’s best for us all less government, and more liberty? I for one don’t want any more government, and I’m working for less than we have now.

When looking for the best answer to a problem, putting government at the bottom of the list is usually very helpful.

Unfortunately one can not register as anything other than as republican or a democrat in the state of Georgia. i have always registered as a Republican but I have voted both sides depending on who the candidate was. I will vote for whoever the republican party puts forward this time. The party of Roosevelt has disappeared. I think perhaps John Kennedy may have been the last of it. I am military retired from two branches of the service, the US Coast Guard and US Army Special Forces. I am also a naturalist and a conservationist. My greatest fear of the Republican party is their lockstep attitude where nature is concerned. Georgia is republican and also a dumping ground for dirty industry. We are hell bent to destroy one of the most unique, valuable and sensitive places in the world, the hundreds of thousands of acres of estuaries represented by the… Read more »
There was a time when I voted for who I thought was the best person. I looked at the party affiliation as secondary. My preference was Republican, because that is what I am. But it didn’t stop me from voting for a non-Republican if the opportunity presented itself, especially in state elections. However, the Democratic Party has been hi-jacked by far Left loons, not Liberals, not moderates, but Left-loons. Because these radicals are so content with jamming thru what they want, without a worry of recognizing any Republican support, they are perfectly fine with Democrat-only legislation like Obama Care. So in the last few elections with the importance of majority blocks, I have had to resign myself to the fact, that I would have to vote Republican, regardless, in order to get a GOP majority, and knock loons like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi out of the leadership positions. Democrats… Read more »

The Republican Party left me a long time ago. I’ve voted on both sides when the opportunity presented me with the best candidate on the issues. I have to determine my politics because I hold a publicly voted on position. I hope the American people wake up to what is happening to our Country. I’m sorry, but if Washington doesn’t change with the coming election, I’m afraid we’ll be doomed to worse than we now have. WAKE UP AMERICA!

Washington changing is very unlikely. The people are going to have to change who they vote for, to make Washington change. That means they are going to have to stop being low information voters relying on entertainment shows to form their opinions. Don’t take political advice from Ellen, Whoopi, Colbert, and the like. Do your homework, learn your history, Constitutional law and civics. Unfortunately, we are not going to see that happening. The man, or woman, you meet on the street, doesn’t even know who the vice-president is, what state borders their home state, what time period Abe Lincoln lived in, etc. Mainstream Blacks will vote Democrat because they are supposed to. Republicans will be called racist, Conservatives will be called Neanderthal. If the people don’t change, Washington can’t change. It is very sad.

PEOPLE WON’T TO BLAME IT ON THE PARTY BUT THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONES THAT VOTE THEM IN TO OFFICE THE PEOPLE VOTED oBAMA INTO OFFICE AND THEY GOT JUST WHAT THEY ASKED FOR HE IS A MUSLIM,TRADER AND HAS PUT US INTO WORE AGAINST EACH OTHER WAKE UP AMERICA VOTE FOR TRUMP OR YOU MIGHT BE LIVING IN A MUSLIM NATION WITH HILARY

I think you accidentally made the right comment. “The party of Roosevelt has disappeared.” Teddy was a Republican and Franklin was a Democrat. Both parties have disappeared into doing what they can to stay in office rather than representing the people.

TRUDY YOU ARE SO WRONG THE GOVERMENT OWENS YOUR VOTE WHEN WE VOTE AND A JUDGE CAN OVER RULE YOUR AND MY VOTE THEN THEY OWEN YOUR VOTE WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY NO JUDGE PRESIDENT OR ANY BODY SHOULD BE ABLE TOO OVER RULE THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE THAT IS WHY ME NEED LIMITS ON JUDGES AND ANY BODY SERVING IN GOVERMENT

Trudy; As an “Independent” don’t you loose your “Primary” vote? Now you are stuck with the choice of what the DemReps have chosen.

You know what Earl? I spent 4 years of my life in the military fighting communism and it still disgusts me. I am sick to death of people like you whining and crying about how they never get enough from the their fellow taxpayer, but then the bridges and roads are all falling apart. Did you take math in school? More Americans are now on welfare or working for the government than are in the private work sector. How is that supposed to work without the stupid dumbacrat theory of tax the rich? What happens when we tax them into poverty for you? We borrow more from the red chinese? I am 68 and still work but I don’t resent the wealthy ornsit around on my handsncrying about it. Get off your dumb ass and get some kind of a job if you are rotting away in poverty! You and… Read more »

I’m younger than you Ralph, but you said exactly what I was thinking. It’s unfortunate, but we now have an entire generation of under-educated, selfish, lazy, self-entitled, morons with the morals of alley cats and the belief that work is what someone else does to support them and their morally debased lifestyles. This is the result of decades of socialist subversion being allowed to chip away at the foundation of America. It turns out Joe McCarthy was right after all…

God bless you, III0/0er. It is sad that political correctness continues to make some of us have to learn the hard way. Our children and grandchildren are going to pay for this stupidity!

Charles L – I can’t disagree with anything you’ve just said.

LOOKS LIKE MARYLAND IS NOT FREE IN ANY CATEGORY

This is a real jewel! I wish, however, that it had weighted civil liberties, too (such things as are you free to ride a motorcycle as God intended, or are you free to wear a sidearm, or are you free to make love to your wife or partner without getting permission or going to jail, or grow native plants in your yard, etc.). Still, as a proxy for civil liberty, this chart is probably not too far off, and the economic freedom component is valuable. I’m having a little trouble understanding what educational freedom is. Is that the ability of parents to have a voice in how their children are educated and whether they must be subjected to mandatory mercury poisoning prior to entering government schools, or parents’ ease of educating their children in a nurturing home environment rather than in a statist facility?

We get called hicks and the like, but we are living in state #3.

I am proud to live in state 5. If I understand this correctly the major success and/ or failure is States Rights. When a state gives up power to Federal involvement it’s usually a bad idea!

I find it EXTREMELY sad there is a difference in ANY state compared to any other! This is supposed to be “the land of the free”! We are supposed to have “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

I don’t know exactly how the John Locke Foundation defines “freedom,” but whatever it is, it seems to have some very negative effects. Their five most “educationally free” states (Florida, Arizona, Indiana, Georgia and Louisiana) are ranked by Education Week #32, 46, 25, 37, and 47 in the US. They’re ranked #26, 48, 22, 35, and 43 by WalletHub. Sounds like “freedom” means “we don’t have much of it.”
Similarly, the Foundation ranks Idaho, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and Indiana as the most free in health care choices. I would seem that’s not working too well either: the American Public Health Association rates those states as #17, 19, 7, 25, and 41.
Makes me wonder just what “freedom” buys you. Based on other comments I see here, it clearly buys some of you the right to call me a Commie and ignore the arguments I state.

So Al what to YOU think of as freedom? I moved to Florida from Oregon and even though I started out with a job that paid less per hour then what I left behind in Oregon it was like getting a raise because of no State taxes! Also that rating on education is a non starter for me, those are left leaning institutions who rated them and I wouldn’t except one word out of them even if they told me my own name I’d check my birth certificate just to be sure? Also in Idaho (also a place I have lived) WHAT isn’t working out so well about health care in that State? I know for a fact services cost less there so how is it the fact you can actually afford to pay for it that has you all bent out of shape? I’d like to know what your… Read more »

Ha! A magazine put out by educrats (fascists actually) is of course going to attack any state that allows homeschooling. Education Week. LOL! A government loving union publication if there ever was one.

This rating like most statistics always leave out important variables. Where do the majority of citizens in those states feel freest from always more oppressive government, should be in there.

Protests too much. Why does Florida frighten you, Arizona?

By your sign on name (reply to protests) I sense you are merely looking to be disputatious. But I’ll play along once. How would my comment infer being “frightened” of Florida?

Hah….California….yep nearly dead last. Figures for a state that is totally in love with Hillary and her corruption and scandals. Democrats have a real shot at reclaiming the supermajorities they lost two years ago. On paper, a legislative supermajority would give the Democrats power to approve tax increases and place measures on the ballot. But legislation that requires two-thirds approval would still need the support from moderate, business-friendly Democrats – and they are often less inclined to support liberal proposals Assembly Democrats needed to gain one additional seat and appear to have picked up three. In the Senate, a single district in Los Angeles County will decide whether Democrats reach the two-thirds threshold. The Republican candidate holds a two-thousand vote lead, and the race is too close to call….pity for the democrats. If California can get back their Supermajority, then we can be just like Cuba!!!!!! Viva Fidel! Perhaps we… Read more »

I was amazed that Ky is 5th most regulated state. I live in Ky and am interested how you arrive at the placing of the states in the regulated list.

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