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United States Drops In Overall Freedom Ranking

A new report on the freedom of countries around the world ranks the United States 20th, putting countries like Chile and the United Kingdom ahead of the U.S.

The U.S. was ranked 17th in 2008, but a steady decline of economic freedom and “rule of law” has dropped the level of freedom, according to the Cato Institute, Fraser Institute and the Swiss Liberales Institut, which created the study together.

Co-author of the report Ian Vasquez told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the steady growth of government and increased regulations of business and labor contribute to the U.S. low rating.

“Since the year 2000, the U.S. has been on a decline in terms of economic freedom,” Vasquez told TheDCNF.

The other main reason for the United States’ low rank comes from the “rule of law” measure. Vasquez told TheDCNF that increased invasions of privacy through the war on drugs and war on terror have contributed to the decline in freedom.

Also, the increased use of eminent domain is factored in as a violation of property rights.

The other indicators used to make the list were security and safety, movement, religion, association, assembly and civil society, expression, relationships, size of government, legal system and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit, labor and business.

Based on those measures, here are the top 25 countries.

1. Hong Kong

2. Switzerland

3. Finland

4. Denmark

5. New Zealand

6. Canada

7. Australia

8. Ireland

9. United Kingdom

10. Sweden

11. Norway

12. Austria

12. Germany

14. Iceland

14. Netherlands

16. Malta

17. Luxembourg

18. Chile

19. Mauritius

And then finally..

20. United States

Just after the U.S.,

21. Czech Republic

22. Estonia

22. Belgium

24. Taiwan

25. Portugal

“The U.S. performance is worrisome and shows that the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world,” Vasquez wrote.”In addition to the expansion of the regulatory state and drop in economic freedom, the war on terror, the war on drugs, and the erosion of property rights due to greater use of eminent domain all likely have contributed to the U.S. decline.”

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Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the U.S. was ranked 17th in 2014.