New Hampshire ranked most ‘economically free’ state in nation in new report

By Dave Fidlin | The Center Square

With high scores in government spending, taxes and other metrics, New Hampshire has taken the top spot in a new report examining how states and provinces across North America stack up against one another with economic policies.

The Fraser Institute, a Canadian-based public policy and research think tank, has released its Economic Freedom of North America 2020 report.

The 106-page document delves into individual units of government and examines how policies give residents the ability to make such personal economic decisions as what to buy, where to work and the feasibility of starting a business.

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Elsewhere in the region, Massachusetts placed No. 18, Connecticut was No. 25, Maine was No. 37, Rhode Island was No. 43 and Vermont wound up at No. 46.

With an overall score of 7.84 out of 10 points in the organization’s scoring methodology, New Hampshire took the top spot in this year’s report, followed by Florida (7.73), Virginia (7.62), Texas (7.61) and Tennessee (7.55).

In a statement, Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said the results gleaned from the study correlate to fiscal policy within the state.

“New Hampshire has led the nation in streamlining government regulation to allow job-creators the opportunity to grow and expand,” Sununu said. “Our pro-jobs, pro-growth economic agenda is paying off for New Hampshire families, allowing them the freedom to spend their money as they see fit.”

Sununu also noted that New Hampshire was the only New England state to place in the top 10 of this year’s analysis. Elsewhere in the region, Massachusetts placed No. 18, Connecticut was No. 25, Maine was No. 37, Rhode Island was No. 43 and Vermont wound up at No. 46.

A trio of economists authored this year’s report: Fred McMahon of Canada, Dean Stansel of the U.S. and Jose Torra of Mexico.

In a news release outlining the rationale behind the report, McMahon said its findings have been aimed at demonstrating how public policy directly ties into local economies.

“When governments allow markets to decide what’s produced, how it’s produced and how much is produced, citizens enjoy greater levels of economic freedom,” McMahon said in a statement.

Fellow co-author Stansel said, “Higher levels of economic freedom lead to more opportunity, more prosperity, greater economic growth, more investment and jobs.”

Within this year’s report, New Hampshire took the top spot across the U.S. in the metric of government spending, netting a score of 8.8 out of 10 points.

In the category of labor market freedom, the state took the No. 3 position, with a score of 7.7 out of 10 points, trailing Virginia and Texas.

In terms of taxes, New Hampshire placed No. 6, scoring 7 out of 10 points in the study. Tennessee, Florida, Alaska, Wyoming and Alabama outpaced the state in the metric.

The Fraser Institute has been preparing annual reports on economic freedom for 16 years. According to the think tank’s analysts, the average U.S. score has been falling since the first report was released more than a decade-and-a-half ago – from an index score of 8.31 out of 10 points to 7.97.

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3 thoughts on “New Hampshire ranked most ‘economically free’ state in nation in new report

  1. I’ve seen parking lots at stores in NH full of VT cars. That helps the economic position of NH, At NH Liquor Stores many shopping carts full of booze. Vt’ers need it. Learned that if VT’ers use their credit cards, VT will access from the companies and bill them for sale taxes. At a Walmart I’ve seen a VT buyer of cigarettes and was asked for an ID. She was charged the VT sales tax, in NH. The taxing arms of the tax dept octopus reaches everywhere. GREED. People are buying with cash.

    People from MS, CT & RI use to encounter tax officials at their borders to search their residents of their booze purchases. Seen it first hand a few years ago. Now they use the internet to search without getting out of their offices.

    VT (gov people) haven’t learned a lesson of Guns and Butter from their neighbor. People avoid taxes (a money waste) anywhere they can.

    I’m surprised that NH is still one of the best p[laces to live with all the Flatlanders that moved in with their Lib attitude. Observe their Congressional Reps, all Dem-Lib and Piglosi, Schumer followers. P&S have programmed them to follow their Socialist agenda and they do. They don’t really have any benefit for NH, just lip service. Look at Kuster, get her emails-nothing. At the State of the Union speech, she and her female cohorts wear white gowns.reminiscent of the KKK, that was started by the Dem Party in Memphis TN. Stupid.

  2. New Hampshire, our twin state, is absolutely tops in economic freedoms for it’s citizens.

    Apparently Vermonters refuse to allow themselves to learn, noticing NOTHING even from our closest neighbors.
    Vermont is 46th out of 50 states in being aggre$$ively ho$tile to it’s citizens.

    Maybe it is the Vermont citizens knee jerk voting record, and blindness to Vt. costs and regulations ?!?
    We want all the “free stuff” and blindly, irrationally, believe it is free. Gov’t efficiency at “Free” is near zero.

    Can we figure this out and FIX IT? Do we even have the will to try?

    • Hi Doug, being from over here, I can tell you a lot about this.
      First of all, this doesn’t just happen, we make this happen, we demand this happens.

      The roots of this are very cultural in nature and that is where you need to start at to repair where you are at.
      We don’t worship at the alter of government or climate over here.
      We do all we can do to keep it as small and efficient as we can.
      We don’t allow anything that looks like more taxes, and we see what they are doing when they call it something else, if it works as a tax, we don’t care what you call it, we don’t want it.
      We have not become over regulated.
      We don’t give out all the Free Stuff.. we are a state that expects people to be self sufficient.
      There is plenty of opportunity and we expect people to get at it and make something work for themselves.It’s not admirable or socially acceptable at all over here to be living off the government.
      We are also a Law and Order state= lower crime, because you Will Do The Time, this keeps the bills down in the long run.

      We are not all social justice warriors over here, we don’t see that as a career choice and quite frankly, we have few patience for all that baloney so I think there is a more peaceful existence around here because we are not having people constantly rocking the boat and getting everyone all fired up.
      We are also not on the PC wagon at all.. if you go down that road of being a nutcase social justice warrior and you are up to no good, you can bet that someone is going to be right there telling you to knock that stuff right off.. we ain’t having it.
      We also don’t have a media machine brainwashing people to the degree that you do..
      We value Freedom, things that strip us of freedoms, we don’t do that stuff.

      I also think that Vermont doesn’t understand how far Left they really are.
      I read your news, as a person from over here, and I feel like I am reading about a foreign country.. your Socialism, and it is literally Socialism going on over there, it’s all been so normalized that I wonder if the people even get it.
      A lot of your corruption is because your government is sooo big.
      It’s a large employer, 40% of your people I read. So you have 40% of your population voting to keep their paychecks..
      This is wrong, you need more jobs and opportunity for people, but because of your over regulation, the Green Crowd that hates any development, the Anti-Capitalists.. how on earth can you create jobs with these forces so working against that progress? and yes, building a building to provide people with a job is progress.
      The over regulation and over taxation makes doing business there very expensive.. and then add the hate and anger that they get from the people from just trying to do this.
      It’s a hostile environment.
      This has all got to change if you want to fix things.
      Do you know how many NH businesses would expand over into there?
      They look at all of that and say “No Wayyy”.
      No business is looking to move into a place that is going to make their lives a living hell.

      I wish you luck, it’s a sad situation, hard to watch because none of it has to be this way.
      I remember when Vermont wasn’t this way, the “progress” that these people thought they were advancing has not really been progress for the average Vermonters at all or you wouldn’t be down at the bottom of the barrel- as you said.

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