(Albuquerque, NM) – The latest edition of the Economic Freedom of North America report is out. The report measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2017, the most recent year of available comparable data.
New Mexico is the 45th most economically-free state in the union, that’s down from 42nd place in the 2018 Index. The report is compiled by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
New Mexico scored 5.17 out of 10 in this year’s report, far behind top-ranked New Hampshire (7.93) and above lowest-ranked New York (4.49), which ranked last for the fifth year in a row. Said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing, “
“When governments allow markets to decide what’s produced, how it’s produced and how much is produced, citizens enjoy greater levels of economic freedom,” said Fred McMahon, report co-author and the Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute.
Rounding out the top five freest states are Florida (2nd), Tennessee (3rd), Virginia (4th) and Texas (5th). Rounding out the bottom five are West Virginia (49th), Alaska (48th), Vermont (47th) and Oregon (46th). New Mexico was noteworthy in that it lagged dramatically behind its neighbors on economic freedom. Aside from Texas at 5th-freeest, Oklahoma ranked 9th, Colorado 13th, Arizona 20th, and Utah 23rd.
The report also includes an additional all-government ranking, which adds federal government policy to the index and includes the 50 U.S. states, 32 Mexican states and 10 Canadian provinces.
From 2003 to 2017, the average score for U.S. states in the all-government index fell from 8.23 to 7.92. Across North America, in the most-free jurisdictions, the average per capita income in 2017 was 9.2 percent above the national average compared to 3.4 percent below the national average in the least-free jurisdictions.
“Higher levels of economic freedom lead to more prosperity, greater economic growth, more investment, and more jobs and opportunities,” said Dean Stansel, report co-author and economics professor at Southern Methodist University.