Mauritius ranked first in Africa and fifth globally in Economic Freedom report 2014
The island nation is seen as Africa’s most economically free country offering the highest quality of life and personal freedom. (Image: Forbes)
Mauritius has yet again emerged with top honours among African countries in the Economic Freedom of the World 2014 report of the Fraser Institute, in which it has also come in the top 5 worldwide, bettering its global ranking of 6 in the 2013 edition.
The island nation, at the fifth place globally, is seen as Africa’s most economically free country offering the highest quality of life and personal freedom, improving from 7.90 points based on the 2012 report, where it was ranked 8th, to 8.01 in the 2013 edition and 8.09 point in the 2014 report.
Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report has been released on October 7, 2014 at an international event in Brussels.
Based on the most recent year’s available data, in this case, from 2012, the report measures the economic freedom (levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property, rule of law, etc.) of a given country by analysing the policies and institutions of 151 countries and the special administrative territory region (SAR) of Hong Kong.
On the Freedom to Trade Internationally front, Mauritius is ranked 9th with 8.4 points and it is ranked 19th in terms of Regulation with 8.1 points.
Also, the island is positioned on the 20th place with 7.9 points for the Size of Government, 29th for Sound Money with 9.4 points, and it is ranked legal 37th in regards to Legal System and Property Rights with 6.6 points.
The top 5 in Africa are rounded up by Rwanda, Botswana, Uganda and Zambia, which find themselves at the 29th position with 7.53 points, 54th with 7.26 points, 57th position with 7.22 points and 65th position with 7.13 points respectively.
The other notable mentions are Gambia, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria which occupy 76th position with 6.99 points, 77th place with 6.98 points, 93rd place with 6.73 points and 125th place with 6.19 points respectively.
Globally, Hong Kong continues its streak of number one rankings followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Australia, Jordan, Chile and Finland.
The rankings of some other major countries are the United Kingdom and United States, tied for 12th; Japan ranked 23rd; Germany 28th, South Korea 33rd; France 58th, Italy 79th; Mexico 91st; Russia 98th; Brazil 103rd; India 110th; and China 115th.
The report also highlights the 10 lowest-rated countries, which are: Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Chad, Iran, Algeria, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, and Venezuela which remains the world’s least economically free country. However, Sub-Saharan Africa has contributed 5 countries to the bottom 10, showing that the region continues to be weak on the economic freedom front.
However, the average economic freedom score globally dropped slightly to 6.84 out of 10 from 6.87 last year.
According to fact-based research in top peer-reviewed journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer life spans.
Moreover, the average income of the poorest 10% in the most economically free countries in 2012 was almost double the overall average income in the least free countries. And life expectancy in 79.9 years in the top quartile compared to 63.2 years in the bottom quartile.