Though the United States has long been considered a model of economic freedom, it has experienced a considerable decline in recent years. "From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. After increasing steadily during the period from 1980 to 2000, the chain linked EFW rating of the United States fell from 8.65 in 2000 to 8.21 in 2005 and 7.70 in 2010. The chain-linked ranking of the United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th)".1
Here is a table I created showing the ranking of the United States from 2000 to 2010.
1 Exhibits 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11 and 1.12 are taken from the 2012 report and show the results in these four areas for 2010.1
Unfortunately I don't believe our near future outlook is good. As both government debt and regulation continues to grow I don't foresee any improvement on next years report.
1. Fraser Institute: Economic Freedom of the World 2012
*Originally posted on 12/06/12. Updated on 12/16/12.