TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 15, 2015) - New Hampshire has the highest level of economic freedom among all U.S. states, finds a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"In New Hampshire, high levels of economic freedom help create prosperity and economic growth for working families," said Dean Stansel, economics professor at Southern Methodist University and co-author of this year's Economic Freedom of North America report.

The report ranks jurisdictions based on their levels of economic freedom (measured by government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions) using data from 2013, the most recent year of available data.

The report's subnational ranking system spotlights state and local government policy, comparing U.S. states to U.S. states.

Following New Hampshire, the top ranked U.S. states are South Dakota, Texas, Florida, and Tennessee.

New York is the least-free state followed by California, Alaska, Hawaii and New Mexico.

The report also has an all-government ranking system, which adds federal government policy and includes the 50 U.S. states, 32 Mexican states and 10 Canadian provinces.

"The freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying on personal choice and markets to decide what's produced, how it's produced and how much is produced. When governments impose restrictions on these choices, there's less economic freedom," Stansel said.

In the most-free states, the average per capita income in 2013 was about seven per cent above the national average compared to roughly eight per cent below the national average in the least-free states.

"The link between economic freedom and prosperity is clear-states that support low taxation, limited government and flexible labor markets see greater economic growth while states with lower levels of economic freedom see lower living standards and less economic opportunity," said Fred McMahon, study co-author and Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute.

The Economic Freedom of North America report is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World index, the result of more than a quarter century of work by more than 60 scholars including three Nobel laureates. See the complete study at

A short video of this year's report is available at the Fraser Institute's YouTube channel.

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

Contact Information:

Media contacts: Dean Stansel
Research Associate Professor
O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom
Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University

Fred McMahon
Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom,
Fraser Institute
Tel: (416) 363-6575 ext. 226 / Mobile: (416) 727-7138

For more information:
Aanand Radia
Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
(416) 363-6575 Ext. 238