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Economic freedom index: India ranks 130th, Hong Kong retains top spot (Relevant for GS Prelims)

India has been ranked 130th among 180 countries in the annual Index of Economic Freedom report released by American think tank Heritage Foundation.

Hong Kong maintains the number one spot for the 4th consecutive year and is followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, and Ireland.

Last year performance
India was ranked 143rd with the same score of 52.6 points in 2017. With 54.4 points, Pakistan features at the 131st spot. India was two spots below Pakistan last year.

Reason for improvement
India’s overall score has increased by 1.9 points, led by improvements in judicial effectiveness, business freedom, government integrity, and fiscal health.

The think tank also credited prime minister Narendra Modi for India’s new rank.

System of ranking
Countries are ranked under 5 categories according to their scores – free (100-80), mostly free (79.9-70), moderately free (69.9-60) mostly unfree (59.9-50) and repressed (49.9-40).

About the index
The Index of Economic Freedom is an annual index and ranking created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in 1995 to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world’s nations. The creators of the index took an approach similar to Adam Smith’s in The Wealth of Nations, that “basic institutions that protect the liberty of individuals to pursue their own economic interests result in greater prosperity for the larger society”.

(Adapted from International Business Times)

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