The Fraser Institute has released its new Economic Freedom of the World Index, and for the first time the United States ranks below Canada in terms of economic freedom. Not just below but significantly below. The United States ranks tenth in the world and Canada ranks a comfortable 6th. But before you get too smug you should take a moment to compare the scores of Canada this year to last year.
In the 2010 EFW Index (which is based on 2008 data) Canada scored 7.95 and came in 7th place. In the 2011 EFW Index (based on 2009 data) Canada scored 7.81 and came in 6th place. So we improved relative to the rest of the world but we declined relative to our past results. In fact all this really shows is that economic freedom is declining in Canada at a slightly slower rate.
Canada can’t even claim the prize for being the slowest to decline in the top ten. That prize goes to Singapore, which declined by only .02 points.
Australia deserves special mention as the only country to gain any points in economic freedom. They went from 7.90 to 7.98. The bulk of that gain came from increases in sound money and the freedom to trade internationally.
The bottom line is that when you look at Canada in isolation we are declining and when you compare Canada to our cadre of top economically free countries we aren’t doing that well either.