Economic freedom across the world increased for the sixth consecutive year, although not in Canada, according to an annual report.
The Heritage Foundation, a Washington public policy think-tank, does the annual ranking based on four broad categories: Rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets.
Hong Kong, a hotbed of industry, was the freest country to do business in 2017.
Canada was the freest country in the Americas, rated ninth of 180 countries listed. The United States slipped from 11th place to 18th. Mexico was rated only moderately free at 63.
Canada’s ranking was down or stayed neutral over nearly every category tracked by the foundation, including property rights, government integrity, tax burden, monetary freedom, and trade freedom. The only area of improvement was in overall fiscal health.
Another U.S.-based think-tank, Freedom House, released an overall democratic freedom report for 2018, finding that global freedom has declined 12 years in a row.
Here are the top 10 freest economies in the world in 2018: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland, Estonia, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.