Namibia drops in economic freedom ranking

14 September 2020 | Economics

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia has dropped slightly in its economic freedom ranking, falling to 107th out of 162 countries and territories, compared to 106th last year.

This is according to the Economic Freedom of the World 2020 Report which was released by the Free Market Foundation in conjunction with Canada's Fraser Institute last week.

In 2000, Namibia's stood at 75th and in 2010, the country was placed 90th.

Hong Kong and Singapore again topped the index, continuing their streak as first and second respectively. New Zealand, Switzerland, the United States of America, Australia, Mauritius, Georgia, Canada and Ireland rounded out the top 10.



Premier economic freedom measurement

The report, based on 2018 data, the most recent comparable data, is the world's premier measurement of economic freedom.

It measures and ranks countries in five areas – size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.

The report showed that Namibia reported marginal decreases in nearly all the components of economic freedom.

A score closer to 10 indicates a higher level of economic freedom.

Namibia's score for size of government changed to 5.56 from 5.71 in last year's report, while the score for legal system and property rights changed to 6.18 from 6.36.

The score for access to sound money changed to 8.34 from 8.37, freedom to trade internationally changed to 5.91 from 6.48, while the score for regulation of credit, labour and business changed to 8.21 from 7.66.



Lowest rated countries

According to the report, the 10 lowest rated countries were the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, Algeria, Iran, Angola, Libya, Sudan and Venezuela.

According to research, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties and longer lives.

For example, countries in the top quartile of economic freedom had an

average per-capita gross domestic product of $44 198 in 2018 in comparison to $5 754 for countries in the bottom quartile.

Also, in the top quartile, the average income of the poorest 10% was $12 293, compared to $1 558 in the bottom quartile.

Interestingly, the report indicated that the average income of the poorest 10% in the most economically-free countries is more than double the average per-capita income of that in the least free countries.

“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives,” said Fred McMahon, the research chair in economic freedom at the Fraser Institute.

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