The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently released its "freedom findings" for the year 2013.

In its report, authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens analyzed indicators of personal and economic freedom to rank the "freedoms" enjoyed within the nation's states. Among the categories considered were:

  • Fiscal Policy (tax burden, government spending, government debt, government employment, fiscal decentralization)
  • Regulatory Policy (Tort abuse, Property Rights Protection, Health Insurance, Labor Market, Occupational Licensing, Misc. Regulatory, Cable and Telecom)
  • Personal Freedom (Victimless Crime, Gun Control, Tobacco, Alcohol, Marriage, Marijuana and Salvia, Gambling, Education Policy, Civil Liberties, Travel, Asset Forfeiture, and Campaign Finance Reform).

North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma ranked as the nation's Top 5, respectively. Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, and New York were ranked as the Bottom 5.

The complete report can be viewed at http://freedominthe50states.org/