Freedom in the 50 States

How free is your state? Has it improved in recent years? Or is it on the decline? Learn about how freedom has increased or declined
in your state in the Cato Institute’s new report: Freedom in the 50 States. NEW HAMPSHIRE
This year, New Hampshire is our most improved state, and currently sits as the second freest
state in the country. NH’s improvements are primarily driven by
reforms on Civil Asset Forfeiture and expansion of medical marijuana freedom. The Granite State’s share of taxes has fallen
from 3.7% in 2000 to an estimated 3% today. NH remains one of the best states in the country
for gun rights, especially when it comes to lack of restrictions on open and concealed
West Virginia comes in as the second most improved state, ranking as the 34th freest
state overall. WV’s improvements stem from growth in regulatory
reform. The Mountaineer State passed far-reaching
tort reforms, and telecommunications deregulation, along with a new right-to-work law. WV’s overall tax burden is slightly lower
than average, declining from its peak 8.1% in 2008 to 6.4% today. Like New Hampshire, WV is one of the best
states for gun rights, buttressed by a constitutional carry law. VERMONT
Vermont is the overall most deteriorated state for freedom in the Nation. Its decline can be traced, in part, to its
extremely high tax rate, and backwards policies on land-use and energy freedom. Vermonters face one of the highest tax rates
in the country, with the state government taking 9.7% of adjusted personal income. The State has fallen all the way to 48th on
land-use and energy freedom and has done little to nothing to restrain the use of eminent
domain for private gain. The Green Mountain State requires hospitals
to obtain a certificate of need prior to opening. For more information about the current state
of Freedom in the 50 States, or to learn more about your state and where it ranks, visit

21 thoughts on “Freedom in the 50 States

  • My home, New York, dead last again. Why am I not surprised. I must be a glutton for punishment living here, behind enemy lines.

  • Why have 4,000+ activists been building a libertarian community in New Hampshire? Find out today:

  • not my number one issue but i always do look at gun rights first. my state Washington is trying to heading (though has awhile) in the direction of 50 🙁

  • You guys seem to have a twisted sense of freedom in some regards. You mention the following as a mark against freedom, which seems odd to me. Banning employers from prohibiting guns in their own parking lots. This is America where we have the 2nd amendment and if you'd like to do business here you should respect our rights. Then you talk about anti discrimination laws in employment as a good thing. So do you care about employers rights, or do you not? Apparently you're more concerned with forcing them to diversity hire than making them adhere to our constitution. Then you mention non-compete as a bad thing. So do you believe in the free market, or do you not? If you do, this is directly against free market principles. Large companies/corporations and franchises railroad people into these agreements. It's using the state to monopolize an industry. This is just on Oaklahoma and I could go on. It definitely appears that the fiscal ratings are what best serves companies, not individuals. I'm a business owner and if I had a brick and mortar location I would never attempt to ban guns in my business parking lot. I should also be able to choose my employees based on any criteria I please.

  • Love what y'all are doing here… but back in 2009 there was at least two times as much info per state. I'm sure this is an overwhelming undertaking, but the info was awesome, and completely worth your time. I would love to see a return to that level of detail per state.

  • Quit putting this out there, all the libs keep moving to these places and ruin them. It gives them new opportunities to act as leeches on society.

  • I sure had a feeling New York was not very free, I call it the nanny state, they optimize for supposed safety and equity over freedom. Its time to move..

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