Many posts have discussed differences among the states, with special emphasis on California and Texas.
William Ruger and Jason Sorens at Cato:
This 2023 edition of Freedom in the 50 States presents a completely revised and updated ranking of the American states on the basis of how their policies protect or infringe on individual liberty.
This edition improves on the methodology for weighting and combining state and local policies to create a comprehensive index. Authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens introduce many new policy variables suggested by readers and changes in the broader policy environment (e.g., universal school choice and state laws that shape local zoning authority).
More than 230 policy variables and their sources are available to the public on this website. New policy variables include a battery of state‐level land‐use laws affecting housing, several new occupational licensing measures, a reworked household goods moving company licensing variable that focuses on the “competitor’s veto” element, qualified immunity limitations, and new abortion laws for the alternative indices. In this edition, the authors have updated their findings to
In addition to providing the latest rankings as of the beginning of 2023, the 2023 edition provides annual data on economic and personal freedoms and their components back to 2000 and for some variables, back to the 1930s.
- Provide the most up‐to‐date freedom index yet, including scores as of January 1, 2023.
- Retrospectively evaluate how state COVID-19 responses affected freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
- Refresh their analysis of how the policies driving income growth and interstate migration have changed—before and after the Great Recession and during the pandemic.
To read the full report, visit Freedominthe50States.org.