March 4, 2013 by Liberty
While searching the world for the most libertarian countries, you’re going to want to look for a number of different factors. There is no great way to rank countries based on their amount of freedom and there is no massive front runner. One of the most striking things about this list is how low America is compared to a number of other countries that you may not have considered. To figure out what the most libertarian country is, you have to make some sacrifices in certain areas of freedom. (I’ll be going over this more in the last part of this 3 part series on libertarian locales.) Most areas are strong in certain freedoms but weak in other areas. That makes this a very subjective consideration.
Ultimately, this list is based on the size of government, the taxation of that government, the freedoms it provides economically, and the freedoms they provide socially.
5. New Zealand
Beautiful New Zealand is a place that anyone would love to go. It’s picturesque oceanic views are often some of the most dreamed about landscapes in the world. It’s also the kind of place that is comfortable to live.
New Zealand is one of the most socially free countries in the world. It provides more freedom for it’s citizens than America. Economically speaking it’s just as free. While hit hard by the global economic crisis, it looks as though the economy is right on track to keep growing fast. Government taxation is definitely one of the major problems in this country.
4. United States
Known for its history of freedom loving, the discussion around this country has been quite surprising. This may be the most controversial country in the top 5. While one of the freest countries in the world only a hundred or so years ago it’s dropped its ranks fast. Many freedom indexes don’t even include it in their top 5. It always tends to rank near the top of the most libertarian country list but it rarely gets as high as it does here.
The United States has one saving grace in our equation and that’s the sheer amount of space that the government has little actual control on. While the freedoms in many of the most populated cities around the country belong near the middle of the list of freest countries, there is a lot of area in the United States that’s rural and under little to know actual government control. That is to say, government may legally control, but it’s inability to do that provides freedoms that aren’t found in many places around the world.
You may recognize Switzerland from it’s rather consistent hands off policy for wars. It’s actually held a record of over 200 years without a war. That’s a rather impressive feat. That alone should give some credence to the amount of freedom it provides. Children not being sent to war very often is certainly a major benefit.
Switzerland receives most of it’s freedoms from a mass of decentralization. It’s social policy is as free as they come. It’s economic freedoms are top notch. Its government is a tad bit controlling but being an American, I can’t judge.
America’s neighbor to the north takes a small lead in the most libertarian countries in the world. This may come as a bit of a surprise to the American citizens because there is so little actually known about Canada’s freedom. After you start looking into the research you’ll be surprised.
While it has a medical system that might cause a few problems, the rest of its freedoms aren’t that bad. It really would be a wash with the United States if it wasn’t for government powers. The government of Canada is smaller than the United States and it takes less.
Naturally, it’s also benefiting severely from the mass of land syndrome. While rules may exist for every inch of it, most of the rules don’t actually get enforced on every inch. This points directly at what the next article in the series is going to talk about. I mention that solely to raise your interest ;)
And the top country on our list…
Share a drink with me and toast the freest country in the world. This is a country that is as socially free as any country in the world. It’s government taxation is virtually nothing compared to many countries on this list. It has economic freedoms that could keep just about everyone satisfied. While not Hong Kong economically free, it’s a balance of social freedoms and economic freedoms that just about anyone would love to live.
Where does this list have it wrong?
Do you know any freer countries?
(Update: Hell… I’ve learned a lot since I wrote this article. If I wrote it today I’d knock a few off this list. You’ve gotta’ have some ideas.)
Most of this list is highly subjective. What’s the most important freedom for you? That’s really what it comes down to. If you’re socially conservative then perhaps Hong Kong may be your most libertarian country in the world. That’s the place that I’ll put on the top of the economic freedom list. For social freedoms, that’s a lot more difficult to find the most libertarian countries. Every country on this list provides social freedoms that are as up to date as we understand. Who do you think is most socially free?
In the last article I’m going to be going over what is the most important quality of finding a place to live free. It’s not all about finding the right place to lay your head to avoid the tax man. It’s also about something that’s much more important.
This is a part of the:
Libertarian Locales Series
Part 1: You’re already here!
5 Most Libertarian Countries
Libertarian Rights Don’t Come From Government
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