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Highlights: The Human Freedom Index 2018

Published on Saturday, December 15, 2018
Highlights: The Human Freedom Index 2018


The Human Freedom Index presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. This is the fourth annual index. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom of the following indicators:
  • Rule of Law 
  • Security and safety 
  • Movement 
  • Religion 
  • Association, Assembly and Civil Society 
  • Expression and Information 
  • Identity and Relationships 
  • Size of Government 
  • Legal System and Property Rights 
  • Access to sound money 
  • Freedom to trade Internationally 
  • Regulation of Credit, Labor and Business 
The HFI covers 162 countries. It rates countries on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2016 was 6.89. 


  • The level of freedom decreased slightly (-0.01) compared with 2015, with 63 countries increasing their ratings and 87 decreasing. 
  • Top 10 countries 
    • New Zealand 
    • Switzerland 
    • Hong Kong 
    • Australia 
    • Canada 
    • The Netherlands and Denmark (Tied 6th place) 
    • Ireland and the United Kingdom (Tied 8th place) 
    • Finland, Norway and Taiwan (Tied 10th place) 
  • The highest level of freedom are in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania 
  • The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia 
  • The HFI also finds a strong relationship between human freedom and democracy. Hong Kong is outlier in it 
  • The findings in the HFI suggest that freedom plays an important role in human well-being, and they offer opportunities for further research into the complex ways in which freedom influences, and can be influ­enced by, political regimes, economic devel­opment, and the whole range of indicators of human well-being. 
  • The average human free­dom rating decreased by 0.06, with personal freedom falling from 7.40 to 7.19 and econom­ic freedom increasing from 6.74 to 6.84. 
  • The countries that improved their level of human freedom most from 2015 to 2016 are Ukraine (0.44), Iran (0.34), Timor-Leste (0.26), Belize (0.19), and Niger (0.19) The largest deteriorations in free­dom occurred in Seychelles (−0.24), Suriname (−0.23), Turkey (−0.19), Cape Verde (−0.18), and Poland (−0.18) 
  • The correlation between the personal and economic freedom ratings was 0.63 for 2016 

India's Status

  • India’s ranking for this year’s human freedom index is 110 out of 162 countries. 
  • On personal freedom it was ranked 112 out of 162 while on economic freedom it was ranked 96 out of 162 countries. 
  • The score for Personal Freedom is 6.20, for Economic Freedom 6.63 and overall for Human Freedom is 6.41
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