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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June Shellene
1 month ago

These responses are just so much evidence of the success of the divide and conquer technique. People…if we don’t study the enemy, we’ll never defeat it. Our slavery is deeply rooted, in our monetary system (study the Federal Reserve and the demise of the federal reserve note (the US dollar), our “media,” our “educational” system, our “health” industry, which is anything but….our entertainment industry, and our “spiritual” education…be it from the new age “Course in Miracles” or card reading gurus…or our local preachers who skirt all of the important issues of our day. If you don’t start thinking for yourself, you are going to be lost.

Carlene
5 months ago

Colorado is run by a tyrant king. We have zero freedom. I’m being denied medical care because I will NOT submit to medically unnecessary ronna testing. Colorado SUCKS

Tony Goff
6 months ago

This list is bogus. I don’t know what criteria you are using but I live in Florida and I have lived in Georgia. Florida is one of the most regulated states in the USA. It is very difficult to start a business. Florida should not even be on this list. Credibility completely gone

Anoah
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony Goff

Did you notice that FL is NOT on the list for states that have the least regulations?

Alice
7 months ago

I am a 62 year old college grad who did professional Substitute Teaching to earn a living in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota for a long time. I am still capable of work. I have held 5 jobs in Colorado. Every one of these was lost due to bullying (of me). I can get hired quickly but keeping the job is a problem, because the companies tell me what a good Employee I am (I have a solid work ethic and am good at what I do), but they always create some nasty scenario where I am blamed for something – usually they do me wrong, and when I complain about it (genuine legitimate complaints), they end up pressuring me out of the job.

So I can get jobs – but keeping them has been impossible due to abuse and bullying. This was also the case not only in Colorado (the worst in Colorado), but every state I’ve worked in since I was 50 years old or so.

Wyoming wasn’t bad as far as freedom goes. But I had a serious problem there and I’ll never be comfortable to return. South Dakota was good overall, but they did something odd with my driver’s license and I tried to return and had huge issues with it. So I left.

Iowa wasn’t too bad but I never found decent housing. I never found decent help for housing either. I never had a job work out and had bullying there too. Many of the people were more friendly though.

Minnesota was the worst state for me hands down! I did get housing but it was very very bad housing. I was also seriously bullied there – Colorado and Minnesota are so far the worst for that. Montana might not have been bad, but my job was cut and I think it was religious prejudice – which started a downward slide for me overall in 2017. I tried to sue for it, and should have been able to, but once you have had a problem in Montana, they all turn against you.

I had the most and best work in Nebraska. But even that did not last long because they actually allowed some very intense bullying. I also experienced very serious housing discrimination – even for housing I actually qualified for – in Nebraska. They kept saying I didn’t have children, so they would not give me housing – well, I’m old enough now that I ought to have grandchildren, so of course I don’t have children. That was just out and out very blatant discrimination.

A few of the states listed here I have not tried. But right now I found this article from just terrible despair and discouragement overall in my life. My life has no joy and is no good because I am unable to make adequate income and I don’t wish to sit on welfare rolls. I have been a hard worker all my life and wish to continue that to make my own living – I want the freedom to do so.

Chris topher
3 months ago
Reply to  Alice

Jesus can save you and give you His peace and comfort. I pray you will give your heart to Jesus and find new joy in living for Him. God Bless you

Jonny
1 month ago
Reply to  Alice

Sounds like one long sob story. Sounds like everyone is mean to you everywhere you go. You either have a target on your head or you need to start telling people where to go, haha!

Nunya
10 months ago

I call BS on WV being in the bottom 5…
lived in MANY places and WV is the freest of the 10 or so states I’ve lived in. So BS on this poll!

Mary-Beth Hutchinson
3 years ago

I would like to support AMAC and receive OCCASIONAL emails (such as monthly or even biweekly). But my inbox is flooded with AMAC emails and if I have a choice between ALL Eemails and none, I have to unsubscribe. Sorry!

Tony Favero
4 years ago

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 can bump NY away from #50.

Robert
5 years 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
5 years ago

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

Robert
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Could be worse. You could live in New Jersey

Shibbal18
1 month ago
Reply to  John

5 years later its only worse

John Overington
5 years ago

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

Carol Himes
5 years ago

True. Thanks!

Stephen
5 years 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
5 years ago

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

Gerald Courtney
5 years 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
5 years ago

Delaware is #22 – isn’t it?

Shibbal18
1 month ago

You all really dont know how good you have it

Bill
5 years 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
5 years ago
Reply to  Bill

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 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Governmental rotections are mostly a racket. Lookup voluntaryism.

Mary S Vickoren
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete

NC sucks. We can’t go home to Oregon, aka NE California. Don’t know where to go to breathe free??

patrioticporcupine
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill

This list is completely off. Anywhere that taxes your income and imposes a general sales tax is not the economically free. New Hampshire has no state sales tax or income tax. New Hampshire has more civil liberties than Florida, so it’s missing a critical component. In terms of regulatory freedoms, New Hampshire needs work but people are diligently fighting the good fight such as the NH Liberty Alliance that screens all proposed legislation and rates its politicians and laws as being anti-liberty or pro-liberty (regardless of party).

AnswersFromGod.com
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Also, homeschooling in Florida is highly regulated (among the most regulated in the USA).

Nunya
10 months ago
Reply to  Bill

You’re right, this list is completely bogus!!!
It belongs on Facebook it’s such a bald faced lie!

Carl Darnell
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Hare

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

Fred Flintstone
5 years ago
Reply to  Craig

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

D OROTHY
5 years ago

THAT WAS THE VERY FIRST TIME I POSTED A COMMENT.

Dorothy
5 years ago

LOOKS LIKE MARYLAND IS NOT FREE IN ANY CATEGORY

Paul Lindstrom
5 years ago

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

Mark Blackburn
5 years 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?

patrioticporcupine
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Blackburn

Well, this is an interesting list. However, CATO Institute and Mercatus Center rated New Hampshire as #1 and South Dakota as #4 (South Dakota ranks within the top 4 in three of the list here, regulatory freedom, health freedom, and fiscal freedom). However, it fails to point out exactly the issues of personal freedom aka civil liberties. South Dakota fares at the bottom of the barrel on those issues. I agree New Hampshire could use far more regulatory freedom, in terms of financial or economic freedom, New Hampshire should rank higher here. No state sales tax, no income tax except for capital gains). Whatever the case, we need to keep New Hampshire on its toes and the Democrats in check as they will grow government and impose Gulag like legislation, e.g., imposing fines on companies that simply deny climate change, etc. If you want freedom, you go to New Hampshire.

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