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The Top-10 Most Freedom-Loving States In America (2011)

#10 - North Dakota
Economic freedom: #3
Personal freedom: #36

North Dakota has very low government spending, debt, and taxation levels. It has a rare type of workers'-compensation policy, with all private insurance banned and a state fund that employers must contribute to. The state has limited gun control and motorist laws, but heavily regulates private schools.

#9 - Virginia
Economic freedom: #5
Personal freedom: #23

Virginia is the freest state below the Mason-Dixon line. Government spending, debt, and tax rates are all significantly lower than national averages. It has lax smoking laws and both the natural gas and cable industries have been deregulated. However, the state's health insurance coverage mandates are high.

#8 - Oregon
Economic freedom: #24
Personal freedom: #1

Oregon boasts the highest personal freedom ranking in the country. It allows physician-assisted suicide and same-sex civil unions, prohibits sobriety checkpoints, and has lenient marijuana possession laws. Its economic ranking is hurt by the state's high level of government spending and debt.

#7 - Colorado
Economic freedom: #10
Personal freedom: #8

Although Colorado is the most fiscally decentralized state in the country, the government is wallowing in debt. It lightly regulates schools and has low tax rates for alcohol and cigarettes, but has extremely harsh smoking bans in place.

#6 - Nevada
Economic freedom: #16
Personal freedom: #3

Nevada has local-option prostitution and the most lenient gambling laws in the country. Spending and taxation are slightly better than average, but government debt is rising. The state also has the tightest private school restrictions in the nation, with curriculum control and mandatory state licensing for all teachers.

#5 - Missouri
Economic freedom: #12
Personal freedom: #6

Missouri has low government spending and taxes. Although it has some of the least restrictive gun control and alcohol laws, Missouri has the harshest marijuana sentencing laws in the country. Private and home schools are almost entirely unregulated.

#4 - Idaho
Economic freedom: #4
Personal freedom: #9

Idaho has the second-lowest government-debt ratio in the country, along with lower-than-average taxes and spending. It has very few laws constricting motorists, and is one of the few states in the country that prohibits random sobriety checkpoints. The state also has some of the mildest gun laws and education regulations in the nation.

#3 - Indiana
Economic freedom: #13
Personal freedom: #3

Indiana licenses the fewest occupations in the country (as a percentage of the total state workforce), and has deregulated the telecommunications, cable, and natural gas industries. The state has light regulation for schools and little campaign finance regulation, but has smoking bans across the board.

#2 - South Dakota
Economic freedom: #1
Personal freedom: #34

The most free state in the country in terms of economic freedom, South Dakota has a high level of fiscal decentralization, very low tax rates, and low spending. Its relatively low personal freedom ranking is due to high cigarette taxation and smoking bans, and harsher-than-average laws relating to marijuana, gambling, and asset forfeiture.

#1 - New Hampshire
Economic freedom: #2
Personal freedom: #11

It's the only state in the country that lacks a seatbelt law for adults, and it has lax gun laws. Taxes and government spending are both below average rates, and government debt has actually decreased since the Democrats took unified control in 2007.

The 3rd LEAST free state is California
Economic freedom: #48
Personal freedom: #41

California has high government spending, tax rates, and economic regulation. Much of the heightened spending is in administration, social services, and housing. The state has strict labor, smoking, and gun control laws, but scores high on same-sex unions and marijuana laws.

The #2 LEAST free state is New Jersey
Economic freedom: #47
Personal freedom: #45

New Jersey has some of the highest tax rates in the country, especially its income and property taxes. As for personal freedoms, its gun control and smoking laws are all some of the most restrictive in the country, though medical marijuana was recently allowed. Its extensive motorist laws include seatbelt enforcement, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, cell phone driving bans, and sobriety checkpoints.

The LEAST free state in the country is New York
Economic freedom: #50
Personal freedom: #48

New York has by far the highest taxes in the nation, especially in property, selective sales, individual income, and corporate income taxes. Government spending is extremely high, and it has the second highest government debt as a percentage of the economy in the country.

New York also has some of the most restrictive gun control, smoking, and motorist laws. It also has the strictest health insurance regulations in the country.

SOURCE: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-freest-states-in-ameri...
Interesting list! I'm looking forward to the 2012 report soon. Proud to be a Missourian!

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id like to see Kentuckys

id like to see Kentuckys rankings. Were not aloud to have medical marijuana but we are allowed to harvest our gamefowl as long as there are no gambling involved which there is but hey thats just the truth. Mitch McConnel is killing us tho :(

Great info!!!


I am confident NH will hold

I am confident NH will hold onto a top spot given the liberty Republican influence in our State House and to an extent in our State Senate. Great information though...gives liberty lovers some food for thought on whether to move or stay home.

Rep. Cam DeJong
Manchester, Nh

Yes, I have heard that a lot of liberty lovers

are in the State senate and reps too. This is great! I take it you are one? My family live there, and are happy about it and hopeful for some changes.

I am finishing up my first

I am finishing up my first term in the House. I won't be seeking re-election. There are two other liberty reps not running again this time due to time constraints with family, work, and other things. It's unfortunate, but very difficult to serve effectively. I will be back in a couple of years I'm sure though. :)

Cam DeJong
Manchester, NH Ward 2

this is, IMO, 'bunk'--

Colorado won't even allow its citizens to have rain barrels!!!

I lived in one of those states and was constantly being watched for being a home educator, etc. Police were all over the place (not after us, but there were too many of them)--

Left and moved to a 'liberal' state to have some freedom.

Here privacy is respected, and neighbors are friendlier without wanting to ask questions--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

I take issue with their assessment

I am a native of NH, and left because I was NOT very free there. Yes, no seat belt laws, but unless one has plenty of money, in order to have a vehicle which could pass their strict inspection, one must not be poor. Also, there are very strict building permits to acquire. The property taxes are so high that it is like a perpetual mortgage. I moved to Wyoming, and we are building a home, little by little, no codes, no building permit, only well permit, and septic permit. That's it. And my property taxes on two homes on 37 acres are half of what one month's rent on an apartment in NH. The gun laws here are as good as it gets, and in fact, Wyoming passed a law, in reaction to Katrina, that the FEDS will NOT take any guns in case of any emergency, ever. And, the town near where I live, passed a NO smoking bans on public property. That's NO bans allowed.

Agreed! WYO is pretty cool...

and I would never willingly move back to CO. There are a few things that aren't so live-and-let-live, but nothing like that other square state.

And ATVs being street-legal is pretty cool too.


the only

problem is if darth vader (cheney)decides changes are in order those changes won't ask the peoples opinion.
Big Piney and Pinedale was there 53 years ago


True, I am too close to Cheney,

but then again, I am further from Washington DC, which is very comforting, and I am a better shot than Cheney. Does freedom in traffic count? The only traffic jam I have EVER seen in Wyoming is an occasional cow in the road.

From NH here. We also have no

From NH here. We also have no mandatory motorcycle helmet law, no state income tax, no sales tax, and no mandatory car insurance either. I have to add we are getting more free all the time thanks to the Free State Project! They are doing an awesome job of getting into office here in NH. My eternal thanks to them for getting involved.

Blessings )o(