The designation of the United States as the “land of the brave and home of the free” doesn’t uniformly apply across the nation, with a recent study identifying the Empire State, New York, as the “least free state.”
Conducted by the Cato Institute, the study evaluated policies impacting economic, social, and personal freedoms, ranking New York in the 50th position among all states for the year 2022.
Specifically, New York secured the last spot for economic freedom, with particularly low scores in areas such as debt, state and local taxation, government consumption, land use, and labor policy.
In contrast, Florida claimed the second position, with New Hampshire earning the top spot as the most free state in America. Florida consistently ranks high in the report due to its absence of state income tax.
One notable factor contributing to New York’s low standing is the high combined state and local income taxes paid by wealthy residents in New York City, making it one of the highest in the country.
Remarkably, New York has maintained its status as the “least free state” in every edition of the index and across all the years covered by the report since 2000.
The report suggests that New York policymakers could enhance the state’s standing by reducing spending and taxes, addressing debt concerns, and eliminating rent control laws.
Hawaii and California also found themselves near the bottom of the ranking, securing 49th and 48th place, respectively.