Canada Is No Longer Among The 10 Most Free Countries, A New Ranking Finds

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​A Canadian flag in Montreal.

A Canadian flag in Montreal.

Canada may rank as one of the most powerful countries in the world, but its freedom score is apparently slipping. The Human Freedom Index, which measures global personal and economic freedom, found that over 94% of the world has seen a decline since the onset of COVID-19. Canada, in particular, has dropped six places over the past three years.

The latest data, gathered by the Libertarian-leaning Fraser Institute, puts Canada in 13th place, behind Australia (11) and Norway (11), and ahead of Taiwan (14), Latvia (15) and Japan (16). The U.K. (20) and U.S. (23) also saw sharp declines.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, Canada ranked 8.95 for personal freedom, 7.81 for economic freedom and 8.47 for human freedom. Freedom of movement took the biggest hit, going from a consistent 9.8/9.9 over nearly a decade to a startling 6.5 amid the pandemic.

The Index analyzed over 165 nations based on rule of law, safety and security, assembly, freedom of moment, freedom to choose a romantic partner, speech and religion. It also took economic freedom and the ability to make financial decisions into account.

Switzerland, New Zealand and Estonia took the top three spots, while China (152), Saudi Arabia (159), Iran (162), Venezuela (163) and Syria (165) took the bottom five.

"Jurisdictions in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significantly higher average per capita income ($48,644) than those in other quartiles; the average per capita income in the least free quartile is $11,566," found the Index.

The countries that ranked among the top 10 most free were:

  1. Switzerland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Estonia
  4. Denmark
  5. Ireland
  6. Sweden
  7. Iceland
  8. Finland
  9. Netherlands
  10. Luxembourg
The full study can be found here.
Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.
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