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Watch: Here’s where the US ranks among free countries – the number may surprise you

Do you feel free?

… here in the 17th freest country in the world? According to the Cato Institute’s latest Human Freedom Index, the U.S. is No. 17. The list uses a range of factors to rank nations by how free their citizens are.

Whoa. Not even top 10?

These were the top 10 jurisdictions in the 2017 index:

  • Switzerland
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands and the United Kingdom (tied for ninth place)

How did Cato decide which countries are “free”?

Ian Vásquez, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, joined today’s show to explain the rationale behind the index.

“Freedom” is an abstract concept, so the index uses 79 more concrete factors to determine the ranking for each country, including rule of law; security and safety; religion; expression and information; identity and relationships; and legal system and property rights.

Where does the U.S. need to improve?

The U.S. got major points for being a country with “democratic elections and constitutional constraint as well as separation of powers and decentralization” but got dinged on rule of law, size of government and freedom to trade internationally.

To see more from Doc, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” weekdays 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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