Human Freedom Index

The Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute jointly publish the Human Freedom Index. It is based on information between 2008 to 2018. As per the Index, personal freedom has decreased globally since 2008. In the Human Freedom Index for 2020, India came in at number 111. India was rated 94th in the world in 2019. The Index takes into account 79 different indices of economic and personal liberty.

It addresses issues such as government size, the rule of law, security and stability, civil society, government size, private property, expression, religion, and international commerce freedom, among others. The Index of World Freedom was the forerunner to the Human Freedom Index.

There are various other international organizations that evaluate and release rankings for different categories. To know about Global Indices & India’s Ranking, visit the linked article.

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About Human Freedom Index

Individual dignity is recognized by human freedom, which is an essentially valued social idea. Human freedom allows and empowers people to do whatever they choose, without restrictions or consequences, as long as it does not interfere with the freedom of others. Human growth is largely dependent on individual liberty. The Human Freedom Index is an annual assessment that assesses the level of human freedom in 165 countries and territories worldwide, accounting for 98.1 percent of the global population as of 2021.

The HFI is a broad-based metric that considers both economic and personal freedom before combining into a single value dubbed “human freedom.” The Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Heritage Foundation together publish the Human Freedom Index.

The countries only with the highest Human Freedom Index ratings are commonly thought to be among the freest in the world (the freest countries in the world).

Also, learn about the other freedom index, given below:

Classification for Human Freedom Index

The Human Freedom Index, published in 2021, is by far the most extensive measurement of freedom yet devised. It compares and combines 82 distinct metrics to calculate the level of freedom in 165 countries and regions in 2019, the most recent data available. Each of the 82 indications looked at can be classified into one of 12 meta-categories.

The Human Freedom Index is divided into 12 categories:

  1. Law and Order
  2. Safety and Security
  3. Movement
  4. Religion
  5. The terms “association,” “assembly,” and “civil society” are all used
  6. Information and Expression
  7. Relationships and Identity
  8. Governmental Size
  9. Property Rights and the Legal System
  10. Sound money is available.
  11. International Trade Liberties
  12. Regulation

In each of the 82 variables, the Human Freedom Index assigns a score to each country ranging from 0 to 10, with 10 representing the highest freedom and 0 representing no freedom at all. These values are precisely weighted and combined to establish personal and economic freedom values, which are then averaged to determine each country’s overall human freedom index score.

Aspirants can read similar notes on other world indices that are mentioned in the linked articles below:

Global Peace Index

Global Hunger Index

Global Innovation Index

Global Slavery Index

Global Talent Competitiveness Index

Commonwealth Innovation Index

Global Rankings 2021

Economic and personal freedom are measured by two sets of metrics that are separate but interconnected. The justice of the laws, physical security, freedom of movement and assembly, religious freedom, freedom to seek elected office, freedom of the press, free expression, as well as the freedom to pursue same-sex relationships are all indications of personal freedom.

Economic freedom, on the other hand, considers factors such as the size of the government and the degree of overreach it imposes, tax as well as interest rates, the impartiality of the courts and the legal system’s integrity, freedom to take part in money system and/or trade internationally, min wage, the expense of starting a business, the existence or utter lack of conscription and general freedom to prosper financially without government intervention. The top 10 countries with the highest Index for the year 2021 are:

  1. Switzerland — 9.11
  2. New Zealand — 9.01
  3. Denmark — 8.98
  4. Estonia — 8.91
  5. Ireland — 8.90
  6. Canada — 8.85
  7. Finland — 8.85
  8. Australia — 8.84
  9. Sweden — 8.83
  10. Luxembourg — 8.80

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Indexes for the year 2021:

  1. Syria — 3.66
  2. Venezuela — 4.03
  3. Yemen — 4.08
  4. Sudan — 4.48
  5. Egypt — 4.49
  6. Iran — 4.53
  7. Somalia — 4.93
  8. Burundi — 5.02 (tie)
  9. Iraq — 5.02 (tie)
  10. Libya — 5.05

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Topic-Wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains

Previous Year UPSC Prelims Polity Questions With Solutions

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Frequently Asked Questions on Human Freedom Index


Which is the country with the highest Index?

As per the Human Freedom Index 2021, Switzerland was at the highest.


Which is the country with the lowest Index?

Libya ranked the lowest in the 2021 Human Freedom Index


The Human Freedom Index is published by?

The Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute jointly publish the Human Freedom Index.


The Human Freedom Index is divided into how many categories?

The Human Freedom Index is divided into 12 categories.


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