New report finds New Mexico cities lag in economic freedom

A new report from Dean Stansel of Southern Methodist University (who also co-authors the Fraser Institute’s annual economic freedom of North America report) drills down to the urban level and has produced a new ranking of metropolitan areas’ economic freedom for the Reason Foundation.

Economic freedom is the presumption that largely unregulated system leaves individuals maximally free to pursue their own plans, spurring entrepreneurial activity and innovation. Low taxes, reasonable regulations, and freedom of contract are among the hallmarks of economic freedom.

Not surprisingly to anyone who follows New Mexico politics (and is aware of New Mexico’s relatively poor rankings on economic freedom especially relative to its neighbors), the New Mexico metro areas included in the report perform poorly. Santa Fe surprisingly comes in highest overall (within New Mexico) at 232 out of 382 metro areas ranked. Albuquerque ranks 291, Las Cruces comes in at an even more dismal 344 ranking, and Farmington ranks 368.

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, when you actually look through the data, it is clear that metro areas in New Mexico’s neighboring states (like the states themselves) are much more economically-free than New Mexico’s. It is an interesting report and worth careful study.

You can see for yourself where economic freedom flourishes and where it doesn’t on the map below.

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4 Replies to “New report finds New Mexico cities lag in economic freedom”

  1. Wow, Santa Fe County is ranked more free than Sandoval, Bernalillo or Torrance Counties? Could it be the rural parts of SFC that over-ride the capital-city’s effects?

    1. I interviewed the author of the study and he noted that one of the factors included was the relative dependency on government. Farmington has Native and federal lands while Santa Fe does have a fair amount of entrepreneurship. I am not sure of the merits, but I did want to explain how it happened.

  2. Clearly, parts of New Mexico emulate the feudal society of California, a huge impact on everyone, especially when we consider tax burdens (previous report, above), and economic freedom. This is dismal.
    I suppose the next thing we will face will be “vote harvesting”, which, if NM had a functional brain at state level, would be made flatly illegal, with heavy fines and jail for those pursuing this policy.

    NM considers largesse from Washington a pay raise, when it is another ankle chain.

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