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2009 Economic Freedom of the World Index

September 14, 2009. Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies

Israel ranks 78th out of 141 countries

Israel ranks 78th in the world in terms of economic freedom according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2009 Annual Report, released today by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS). In 2002 Israel ranked 43 rd but while other countries in the world have become freer over the past years, Israel has suffered from more regulation and an ever growing public sector.

Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government; (2) legal structure and security of property rights; (3) access to sound money; (4) freedom to trade internationally; and (5) regulation of credit, labor and business.

Israel's rankings were significantly weakened due to Israel's oversized government. One of Israel's lowest ratings (4.67/10) was in the rate of government spending as a percentage of total consumption. Israel also loses points due to extremely burdensome tax rates. In term of size of the government, Israel ranks 130th. Another very weak ranking for Israel is in regulation of credit, labor and business, only reaching the 96th place.

The best score for Israel was in access to sound money, Israel received a grade of 9.32 over 10 and ranks 31st in the world. Israel achieved her best ranking in the area of international trade reaching the 29th place.
The report ranks Hong Kong number one, followed by Singapore then New Zealand. Zimbabwe once again has the lowest level of economic freedom among the 141 jurisdictions included in the study, followed by Angola and Myanmar.

The annual peer-reviewed Economic Freedom of the World report is produced by Canada's Fraser Institute in cooperation with independent institutes in 75 nations and territories. It uses 42 different measures to create an index ranking countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom.

The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property. Research shows that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans.

"Economic freedom is one of the key building blocks of the most prosperous nations around the world. Countries with high levels of economic freedom are those in which people enjoy high standards of living and personal freedoms. Countries at the bottom of the index face the opposite situation; their citizens are more likely to be poor and to face a corrupted government," said Corinne Sauer, Director of JIMS.

The full report is available at www.freetheworld.com

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