A new study form George Mason University ranks America’s 50 states according to the degree of freedom enjoyed by citizens.
Researchers at George Mason University have published the results of their study, "Freedom in the 50 States", which ranks each state according to four categories: fiscal policy, regulatory policy, economic freedom, and personal freedom.
Overall, the study finds that New York State is the least free of all 50 states, ranking 50th in both economic freedom and fiscal policy, and ranking 44th in regulatory freedom, and 48th in personal freedom.
The study indicates that New Hampshire is the freest state overall.
Personal freedom, of course, is of particular interest to FORCES readers. In this category, the study finds the freest state to be Alaska, while Maryland is the most restrictive state regarding personal liberty.
Smoking bans were included within the study as a restriction on personal freedom, but weighted along with several other impositions. A state by state text summary is included within the study that provides a brief description of each state’s smoking ban policy at the time of the study’s writing.