Freedom in the 50 States, 2013 Edition

An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom

In addition to providing the latest rankings for 2011, the 2013 edition of Freedom in the 50 States builds on the data and rankings from previous editions for 2007 and 2009 and, for the first time, also includes data and rankings for 2001, highlighting changes in economic and personal freedom over the past decade.Learn more at

Now in its third edition, Freedom in the 50 States presents a completely revised and updated ranking of the American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.

This edition employs an enhanced methodology that makes it an even more comprehensive index than in past editions. Improving on their previous attempts to measure freedom, authors William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens use far more variables in this edition, including new variables related to economic freedom. In fact, more than 200 policy variables and their sources are now available to the public on this website. Scholars, policy makers, and concerned citizens can re-weigh every policy and create customized indices of freedom or download the data for their own analyses.

In the 2013 edition, the authors have updated their findings to:

  • include a new technique for aggregating policies into a freedom index based on “freedom value” (the estimated dollar value of each freedom affected to those who enjoy it);
  • improve and expand measures of business regulation, including new variables for land-use, professional, and insurance regulations; and
  • present results for more sophisticated statistical analyses of freedom's effects on migration and growth than those in previous editions.