Bahamas’ economic freedom rating declines

The Bahamas’ economic freedom rating took a hit in the 2019 Economic Freedom of the World economic report, dropping from 51 to 58 of 162 countries, according to a press release from the Nassau Institute in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute.

According to the release, The Bahamas’ ratings dropped from 7.36 to 7.25 in the latest report.

The Bahamas lost ground in its size of government, moving from 7.36 to 7.25 in a 1-10 scoring system. It also regressed in its legal system and property rights score, moving from 8.29 to 8.10. The country also declined in its freedom to trade internationally, with its score changing from 6.71 to 6.54.

The country gained ground in its access to sound money score, moving from 6.78 of 6.88, and in its regulation of credit, labor and business, moving from 8.17 to 8.22.

“The most significant categories where declines occurred was the size of government and the legal system and property rights,” the release stated.

The report pointed out that Hong Kong and Singapore topped the index in first and second place respectively, while the ten bottom countries were Iraq, the Republic of Congo, Egypt, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Algeria, Sudan, Libya and Venezuela.

The release explained that the data was based on information such as “levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property and the rule of law, by analyzing a country’s policies and institutions.

“According to research in top peer-reviewed academic journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives,” the release stated.

“For example, in the top quartile of economic freedom those countries an average per capita GDP of $36,770 – $40,376 in 2017, compared to $6,140 – $5,649 for bottom quartile nations (PPP constant 20117 US$).

“And poverty is much reduced. In the top quartile, 1.8 percent of the population experience extreme poverty (US$1.90 a day) compared to 27.2 percent in the lowest quartile.

“Life expectancy is 79.5 years in the top quartile of countries, compared to 64.4 years in the bottom quartile.”

According to Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute Dr. Michael A. Walker, people in countries with higher amounts of economic freedom live more prosperous, happy and healthy lives.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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