Americans consider themselves to inhabit, in the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the land of the free.
However, the latest report from the Human Freedom Index ranks the United States the 20th freest out of 152 jurisdictions.
The study examines personal and economic freedom as they relate to such matters as the rule of law, the size of government and associational rights.
The top 10 freest are Hong Kong, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Sweden.
One cannot help but look at the 10 freest and notice a commonality: size. Most of these are countries with little land.
And those with larger territories, such as Canada and Australia, have relatively small populations: 35 million for the former and 25 million for the latter.
The United States, on the other hand, has a population of 318.9 million, the third largest in the world.
Could the sheer size of America present an extra challenge for liberty?
Read the rest by William J. Watkins Jr. at the Indepentent Institute.