India has been ranked 112th out of 159 countries in the 2016 World Economic Freedom Index (WEFI). The index was release as part of the 2016 annual report of the Economic Freedom.
The report measures the economic freedom by analyzing the policies and institutions of all 159 countries and territories and was based on data from the year 2014. The report was published by the Centre for Civil Society, a public policy think tank along with Canada’s Fraser Institute.
The degree of economic freedom in countries in five broad areas was measured including the Size of government: expenditure, taxes and enterprises; legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour, and business.
Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand tops the list, followed by Switzerland, Canada, and Australia is at the 10th position. Other notable countries such as United States (16th), Germany (30th), Japan (40th), France (57th) and Russia (102nd), importantly the majority of countries included in the index, which were mainly developing and emerging market economies. Congo (157th), Libya (158th) and Venezuela (159th), attains the lowest ranks.
Importantly, the economic freedom index of any country is directly proportional to the freedom and opportunities available to its citizens. People living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties and longer lives. On the contrary, countries with lower levels of freedom index tend to suppress its citizens’ freedom and rights. Since the index was created in 1995, the score for world economic freedom has increased, rising 2.6 points up to 2008. In 2011 the score had decreased from the 2008 score of 60.2 to 59.7, which represents an increase of 2.2 points since 1995.