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Singapore tops economic freedom but ranks 77th in personal freedom in latest Human Freedom Index

Singapore ranked first in economic freedom in the 2023 Human Freedom Index but held a lowly 77th place in personal freedom among 165 jurisdictions.

Scoring 5 and 4.4 in civil society and expression, respectively, Singapore contrasted sharply with Switzerland, which scored remarkably higher at 9.6 and 9.9 in the same subcategories.

Switzerland ranked third in economic freedom after Hong Kong’s second position.



According to the latest 2023 Human Freedom Index (HFI) published by the U.S.-based Cato Institute and Canada-based Fraser Institute, Singapore is ranked first in economic freedom but placed 77th in personal freedom among 165 jurisdictions worldwide.

The index, compiled by these institutes and covering 165 jurisdictions for 2021, showcased Switzerland’s consistent top position for the fourth consecutive year, securing a score of 9.01.

Following closely were New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Estonia, and Sweden (tied for fifth), Iceland, Luxembourg, Finland, and Norway.

Regarding specific freedom categories, Singapore excelled in economic freedom, securing the top rank among 165 jurisdictions with a score of 8.56.

However, in terms of personal freedom, it scored 7.17.

Singapore’s personal freedom scores trail behind Switzerland’s remarkably higher ratings in key categories

Delving into personal freedom indicators, Singapore scored only 5 in association, assembly, and civil society, and 4.4 in expression and information.

In stark contrast, Switzerland demonstrated significantly higher scores, achieving 9.6 and 9.9, respectively, in the same subcategories.

The assessment of association, assembly, and civil society scrutinizes various facets, encompassing the liberty of civil society organizations to engage in public affairs, freedom of assembly permitting peaceful protests, the establishment and operation of political parties (including potential bans or barriers, and the autonomy of opposition parties), and the extent of government repression targeting civil society.

Singapore notably demonstrated relatively low scores in the freedom of assembly and civil society organizations subcategories, both receiving a score of 2.7.

Regarding media and expression, according to Freedom House, Singapore was rated 2.5, suggesting, “There is self-censorship on a few highly sensitive political issues but not on moderately sensitive issues.”

In economic freedom, Switzerland claimed the third position globally with a score of 8.47.

Switzerland’s score card in latest HFI.

2023 HFI report: COVID-19 pandemic disrupting rule of law and fundamental liberties

Geographically, the report said North America (Canada and the United States), Western Europe, and Oceania emerged with higher freedom levels, while the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia lagged.

Taiwan retained its position as the top Asian jurisdiction, ranking 12th globally among 165 jurisdictions, scoring 8.56 in the HFI, similar to the previous year.

The index’s definition of freedom centres around negative freedom, signifying the absence of coercive constraint, as highlighted in the report.

Economic freedom is evaluated based on criteria such as government size, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation.

Meanwhile, personal freedom criteria encompass the rule of law, security and safety, movement, religion, expression and information, relationships, and association, assembly, and civil society.

The report stressed a severe decline in human freedom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, notably impacting the rule of law, freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly, and freedom to trade.

The average human freedom rating slightly decreased from 6.79 in 2020 to 6.75 in 2021, affecting 89.8% of the world’s population, with more jurisdictions (147) experiencing reduced ratings compared to those that increased (16), and 2 remaining unchanged.

Highlighting global inequality, the report noted that only 13.8% of the population lived in the top quartile of free jurisdictions, while 37.6% lived in the bottom quartile.

Jurisdictions in the top quartile of freedom displayed significantly higher average per capita income ($47,421) compared to less free quartiles ($14,157). The report also highlighted a strong relationship between human freedom and democracy.

“The findings in the HFI suggest that freedom plays an important role in human well-being, and they offer opportunities for further research into the complex ways in which freedom influences and can be influenced by, political regimes, economic development, and the whole range of indicators of human well-being,” said the report.

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Who the f**k pays attention to all these liberal angmo NGOs’ rankings? Are we angmo or wat? They can say whatever they like but we Majority in Singapore will continue to support our government!! Look at me. I can drive a BMW all.thanks to the good governance of our PAP government. So, you oppies better show some respect while you are still holding your red passport!!

Politics ENCOMPASSES everything in society, living, breathing working and dying. Human beings are basically political creatures fundamentally. And the whole world is existing in such.

The PAP Administration has DESENSITIZED Singaporean Sheeps 🐑 interest in politics that they HAVE SEGREAGATED, DEMARCATED so successfully – when DRUMED into Sheeps to speak anything affecting their lives must join politics then talk. Look how the PAP disband academics inviting Opposition to schools, campuses to talk, AND YET they themselves DO.

Is the PAP Administration the GREATEST RASCAL? U decide if they’re MORE than rascals, or even Millionaire Gangsters, perhaps LIARS

“tops economic freedom”

i doubt it with their hidden SLA “taxes” and bullshit lease prices.

That’s why money launderers love SG so muuuch…. Show money get top of the world Freedom here, even fugitives and criminals are very much welcomed. Just don’t get into a mess and get caught

Because Ah Goh was an economist, hence the policies were economic-driven at the expense of social development (e.g.: completely ignored the TFR because economics can “always” rely on importing cheap labor to make up the population). The real fuck-up is the 3G team didn’t recognize nor attempt to correct any of Goh’s blindsights, instead simply cut-and-paste with the economic policies. Can only keep parroting about socio-racial cohesion/harmony, but in reality can’t even make peace with own siblings – typical of “Talk but doesn’t Practice” management. Kayu Boy’s game plan was that with wealth (aka strong economy), he can BUY anything.… Read more »

Excellent grades in economic freedom has indeed manifested into how easy the Fujian gangs can cleanse billions of $ in SG banking systems undetected for years.Nothing to be proud of if SG governance remains “so ,so”.

1.What do the majority lot of Sheeps make out of this? 2.What does this means to food tray clearers? 3.How about the weekly hawkers reported loosing THEIR PANTS, ending their business – economic freedom is GOLD to them? Obviously STUPID and IGNORANT politicians claim THERE ARE PROSPERING hawkers doing well. This is needless to mention. Question is what well are they doing, and gonna be for HOW LONG WHEN they perish, esp from HIGH RENTS? 4. How DO SHEEGAPOREANS gig workers BENEFIT from No 1 Econ freedoms – do the Grab driver knows WHAT’S his income this LJ Freedom BRING… Read more »

What economic freedom?

Economic freedom for whom exactly?