Within the recent release of Cato Institute’s Human Freedom Index 2022 lies a warning—global freedom is in sharp decline. Cato’s scholars report:
The HFI is the most comprehensive freedom index so far created for a globally meaningful set of countries and jurisdictions representing 98.1 percent of the world’s population. The HFI covers 165 jurisdictions for 2020, the most recent year for which sufficient data are available. The index ranks jurisdictions beginning in 2000, the earliest year for which a robust enough index could be produced.
On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for the 165 jurisdictions fell from 7.03 in 2019 to 6.81 in 2020. Most areas of freedom fell, including significant declines in the rule of law and freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly, and freedom to trade. Based on that coverage, 94.3 percent of the world’s population lives in jurisdictions that saw a fall in human freedom from 2019 to 2020, with 148 jurisdictions decreasing their ratings and 16 improving.
The sharp decline in freedom in 2020 comes after years of slow descent. In a comparison of the jurisdictions for which we have the same data available since 2000, a high point for freedom occurred in 2007, which then saw a steady decline through 2019, a period during which 78.6 percent of the world’s population experienced a fall in freedom. The subsequent precipitous descent in 2020 affected every region of the world, including rich and poor countries and democracies and nondemocracies, setting global freedom to a level far below what it was in 2000, previously the lowest point in the past two decades.
There can be no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic was calamitous for overall human freedom. The key question in future years is whether governments will fully reverse COVID‐related restrictions on freedom as the pandemic moderates or whether some will continue to exert the additional control and spending power they have appropriated to themselves during the pandemic. The HFI will provide an impartial monitoring going forward.
Action Line: Freedom isn’t something that comes naturally. It’s fought for at the polls, in the media, and occasionally via revolution. Find your own freedom moving somewhere politicians respect their constituents. Start your search with my 2022 Super States. Click here to subscribe to be one of the first to see my list of 2023 Super States.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.