Free States

The John Locke Foundation, a North Carolinia think tank, created an index to rate individual freedom in the 50 states individual states.

This index is weighted thus:, 50% weight to fiscal policy, a measure of taxation and budget policy, 20% to educational policy, 20% to regulatory policy, and 10% to health care policy. 

• Most free overall: Florida, Arizona, Indiana, South Dakota, and Georgia.

• Least free overall: New York, New Jersey, California, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

• Most free in fiscal policy: South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Texas, and Florida.

• Most free in educational policy: Florida, Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, and Louisiana.

• Most free from regulation: Iowa, Georgia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

• Most free in health-care choice: Idaho, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Indiana.

Surprisingly, Texas ranks 12th overall, but 4th in fiscal policy.


Freedom Index — Overall

There appears to be a correlation of red state with high rank; blue state with low rank, though there are some outliers.
To see the full report, see

The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders. The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) research institute and is funded solely from voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations.

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