Economic freedom is the difference between poverty and prosperity; between first and third world living standards and lifestyle; between good and deficient healthcare; between quality and inferior education; between living to a good age and dying prematurely; between gender equality and downtrodden women; between employment opportunities and a life without work; between the rule of law and despots. Economic freedom matters.
South Africa ranked 90 out of 162 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report (EFW). In 2019, South Africa ranked 101. The improved ranking in 2020 resulted from a small positive movement in the SA rating, and the fact that countries such as Belarus, Ghana and Greece lost ground against South Africa in the rankings. In 2000 South Africa ranked 58 and was among the top 37% of the most economically free countries in the world.
The EFW report is published annually by Canada’s Fraser Institute; the South African edition co-published by the Free Market Foundation. The report was prepared by James Gwartney, Florida State University; Robert Lawson and Ryan Murphy of Southern Methodist University; and Joshua Hall, West Virginia University. It measures the economic freedom (levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property, rule of law, etc.) by analysing the policies and institutions of 162 countries and territories.