Freest Countries in the World: 25 Freest nations according to the Human Freedom Index
As an essential factor to quality of life, wars that saw countless lives lost have been fought over freedom and in many countries people are still risking everything to attain it.
According to the Freedom House Organisation’s ‘Freedom in the World 2023’ report: “Over the last 17 years, the number of countries and territories that receive a score of 0 out of 4 on the report’s media freedom indicator has ballooned from 14 to 33, as journalists face persistent attacks from autocrats and their supporters while receiving inadequate protection from intimidation and violence even in some democracies.
“The past year brought more of the same, with media freedom coming under pressure in at least 157 countries and territories during 2022. Scores for a related indicator pertaining to freedom of personal expression have also declined over the years amid greater invasions of privacy, harassment and intimidation, and incentives to self-censor both online and offline.”
In May, The National reported that the “UK has been ranked 26th on the World Press Freedom Index” and that our media “continues to suffer from a lack of pluralism”. As concerning as that is, it is only one component of what constitutes a free nation which is why we use the Human Freedom Index for a broader understanding of the state of freedom.
The Cato Institute explains: “The Human Freedom Index presents the state of human freedom in the world based on a broad measure that encompasses personal, civil, and economic freedom.
“Human freedom is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is defined here as negative liberty or the absence of coercive constraint. Because freedom is inherently valuable and plays a role in human progress, it is worth measuring carefully.”
Regionally, it is noted that many Western European countries like Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands, consistently rank highly for freedom. Nordic countries like Finland and Iceland also perform well. However, North African and Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria have low freedom scores and suffer limited civil liberties, political repression and restricted economic opportunities.
As a famous man once said, freedom is “something we should cherish rather than take for granted”, so without further ado here are the 25 freest countries in the world according to the Human Freedom Index - how do you feel about your own country’s ranking?