Economic freedom in decline



CALGARY, Alta., Nov. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Canadian provinces once again lag behind U.S. states in economic freedom, according to a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, a think tank independent and non-partisan on public policies.

Economic freedom – the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions about what to buy, where to work, and whether to start a business – remains fundamental to prosperity.

“Higher levels of economic freedom lead to more opportunity, more prosperity, greater economic growth, more investment and more jobs for Canadians,” said Fred McMahon, Research Chair Michael A. Walker on Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute and this year’s co-author North American Economic Freedom report, which measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2019 (the latest year of comparable data available).

After seven consecutive years at the top of the rankings, which includes all 50 U.S. states, 32 Mexican states and 10 Canadian provinces, Alberta fell from first place three years ago and this year, tied for 33rd.e place.

“While Alberta experienced a change of government in 2019 and made progress in changing political course, there is still a long way to go to re-establish the province as the most economically free jurisdiction in North America. ”McMahon said.

British Columbia is the second highest ranked province (47e) followed by Ontario (52sd), Saskatchewan (54e), Manitoba (55e) and Quebec (56e).

The four Atlantic provinces — New Brunswick (57e), Nova Scotia (58e), Newfoundland and Labrador (59e) and Prince Edward Island (60e) —Have the lowest levels of economic freedom of any province and state in the United States, surpassing only the Mexican states. New Hampshire retained its top spot in the rankings again this year.

“As economic freedom diminishes across Canada, economic prospects also diminish for Canadians and their families,” said McMahon.

The North American Economic Freedom report (also co-authored by José Torra, head of research at Caminos de la Libertad de Mexico) is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute Economic freedom of the world index, the result of more than a quarter of a century of work by more than 60 researchers, including three Nobel Prize winners.

Detailed tables for each country and subnational jurisdiction are available at

Fred mcmahon
Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute
Office: (416) 363-6575 ext. 226 Mobile: (416) 727-7138
[email protected]

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and education organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and links to a global network of think tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and widely communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choices on their well-being. To protect the independence of the Institute, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit

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