Economic freedom in North America
The Fraser Institute has just put out its Economic Freedom of North America, 2004 report, here is the full and lengthy text, including all the data.
And how do the freedom rankings look? If you look at all sources of government intervention, the winners are:
5. New Hampshire
Louisiana comes in seventh, Alberta comes in ninth. Here is a short piece on enterprise culture in Alberta, here is a press release on possible declines in economic freedom in Alberta.
The eight biggest losers are all Canadian provinces, with Prince Edward Island as the least free. Here is a bureaucratic report on their current economic situation. Here is a summary of other Canadian results, including a recent upward freedom trend in Canada as a whole.
As for the States, West Virginia comes in last; for the full list go the linked report. If you look only at “sub-national” freedom (state-level regulations but not federal impacts), Colorado moves into first place, most of the other results do not change very much.
Economic freedom and prosperity are strongly correlated (Louisiana is an outlier), although the direction of causality of course can be debated. Here is a link to other Fraser data sources.