Economic freedom – loosely defined by as the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources, while respecting others’ rights to do the same – is the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life.
But economic liberty can vary wildly from country to country, and the Heritage Foundation, together with the Wall Street Journal, ranks countries every year with its Index of Economic Freedom. And for 2012, the news is bad for the United States – the country’s historically high ranking has fallen considerably over the past few years.
On the other hand, the numbers are looking quite well for the former Asian tiger economies of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, all of whom have outperformed the United States.
Here’s an infographic that takes a cursory glance at the countries that rank the highest on the Index of Economic Freedom this year: