The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom

In Central America, El Salvador leads (39 in the world), followed by Costa Rica (49), Panama (59), Guatemala (79), Nicaragua (98) and Honduras (99).

Thursday, January 13, 2011


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According to the Heritage Foundation, who develops the index in association with The Wall Street Journal, "economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself".

Ranking of the Central American nations in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, compared with other Latin American Countries:

11 Chile
33 Uruguay
39 El Salvador
41 Peru
45 Colombia
48 México
49 Costa Rica
59 Panamá
77 Paraguay
79 Guatemala
90 Dominican Republic
98 Nicaragua
99 Honduras
113 Brazil
138 Argentina
147 Bolivia
175 Venezuela

Analysis by country:

El Salvador
El Salvador’s economic freedom score is 68.8, making its economy the 39th freest in the 2011 Index. Its overall score is 1.1 points lower than last year, with significant declines in property rights and freedom from corruption. El Salvador is ranked 4th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score remains well above the world average.

Costa Rica:
Costa Rica’s economic freedom score is 67.3, making its economy the 49th freest in the 2011 Index. Its overall score is 1.4 points higher than last year, reflecting small increases in five of the 10 economic freedoms. Costa Rica is ranked 9th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is higher than the global and regional averages.

Panama:
Panama’s economic freedom score is 64.9, making its economy the 59th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score remains essentially unchanged from last year, with gains in monetary freedom largely offset by a reduced score for government spending. Panama is ranked 13th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is above the world and regional averages.

Guatemala:
Guatemala’s economic freedom score is 61.9, making its economy the 79th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score has increased by 0.9 point, reflecting gains in five of the 10 economic freedoms. Guatemala is ranked 17th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is above the world average.

Nicaragua:
Nicaragua’s economic freedom score is 58.8, making its economy the 98th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score is 0.5 point better than last year, with gains in trade freedom, monetary freedom, and government spending offsetting a decline in property rights. Nicaragua is ranked 19th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is below the world average.

Honduras:
Honduras’s economic freedom score is 58.6, making its economy the 99th freest in the 2011 Index. Its overall score is 0.3 point better than last year, with considerable gains in government spending and monetary freedom scores offset by declines in five other economic freedoms. Honduras is ranked 20th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is lower than the world and regional averages.

More on this topic

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