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.

freest-states1

 

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

 

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

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Robert
5 months 20 days ago

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.

John
6 months 23 days ago

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

Robert
5 months 20 days ago

Could be worse. You could live in New Jersey

John Overington
7 months 2 days ago

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

Carol Himes
6 months 28 days ago

True. Thanks!

Stephen
7 months 6 days ago

The origin of irregardless is not known for certain, but the speculation among references is that it may be a blend, or portmanteau word, of the standard English words irrespective and regardless. The blend creates a word with a meaning not predictable from the meanings of its constituent morphemes. Since the prefix ir- means “not” (as it does with irrespective), and the suffix -less means “without”, the word contains a double negative. The word irregardless could therefore be expected to have the meaning “in regard to”, instead of being a synonym of regardless.
You’re right but who is counting the cost?

K Marvel
7 months 6 days ago

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

Gerald Courtney
7 months 7 days ago

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

Jenifer
4 months 23 days ago

Delaware is #22 – isn’t it?

Bill
7 months 7 days ago

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.

Pete
7 months 7 days ago

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?

James
5 months 8 days ago

Governmental rotections are mostly a racket. Lookup voluntaryism.

Carl Darnell
7 months 7 days ago

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.

Stephen Hare
7 months 7 days ago

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.

Craig
7 months 6 days ago

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

Fred Flintstone
5 months 25 days ago

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

D OROTHY
7 months 7 days ago

THAT WAS THE VERY FIRST TIME I POSTED A COMMENT.

Dorothy
7 months 7 days ago

LOOKS LIKE MARYLAND IS NOT FREE IN ANY CATEGORY

Paul Lindstrom
7 months 8 days ago

I can live anywhere i choose, but I live here; I love my life
and choose to live here……

Mark Blackburn
7 months 8 days ago

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?

Trudy
7 months 9 days ago
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 »
WILLIE RYAN
1 month 1 day ago

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

Robert
5 months 20 days ago

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

Terry
7 months 7 days ago

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.

Roy Hubbard
7 months 9 days ago
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 »
Levi
15 days 5 hours ago

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.

Charles L.
7 months 8 days ago
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 »
WILLIE RYAN
1 month 1 day ago

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

K Marvel
7 months 7 days ago

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!

Charles L.
7 months 6 days ago

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.

realist
7 months 9 days ago

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.`

Ralph
7 months 9 days ago

Steve, unfortunately they would probably be to stupid to take your miracle cure. Keep trying, though.

steve
7 months 9 days ago

I live in the Socialist State of Maryland, Land of regulation and MORONS. Most in this State use Obama math 2+2=22 to balance their check books and if there is checks in the book there must be money in the account!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could develop a pill for STUPID, I would make a fortune in this State.

M. Hanson
7 months 9 days ago

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

Shirley
7 months 9 days ago

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!

John D
7 months 10 days ago

I am from State 12, and my significant other is from State 35. We now live in State 46 while in retirement, but looking for a move to State 7.
What could be wrong with that?

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