CATO’s 50 States Ranked by Freedom

How free is your state?

The CATO Institute released a new map showing how each state ranks according to personal freedom. It’s totally interactive and covers a broad range of topics, including jobs, education, guns, and land. 

"Freedom in the 50 States is an essential work for anyone interested in state policy and in advancing a better understanding of a free society,” CATO posted to Facebook. 

“Which state is the freest? Which state is the least? Which one has the most lightly taxed and regulated economy? Which states protect personal freedoms the best? The worst? How free is your state?” the project asks.

In the overall category, the freest state is New Hampshire. Coming in dead last is New York. But with each category, the state rankings shift around.

Leading the study is William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens. Ruger is Vice President of Policy at the Charles Koch Institute and Charles Koch Foundation. Sorens is a lecturer in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. Here is their motivation in producing this map:

“While the federal government has become more intrusive and inefficient over the last two decades, individual states are providing Americans with a little-recognized renaissance of policy innovation. If we want to save our freedom and restore good government, it is to the states that we must look and not to the federal government.”

Click here to visit the site and find out how free you are.