For the fifth year in a row, New Hampshire has been named the best place in North America for economic freedom — and the many benefits that come with it.
The report, compiled by the Canada-based Fraser Institute, found the ranking is more than just a Chamber of Commerce talking point. “The vast majority of the results find higher levels of economic freedom to be correlated with positive outcomes, such as economic growth, lower unemployment, reduced poverty, and so on,” the Institute reported.
The analysis of 92 provincial and state governments in Canada, the United States, and Mexico gave New Hampshire the top score at 7.96, followed by Florida at 7.8. The Sunshine State is the home of GOP presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis. Fellow 2024 POTUS candidate Gov. Doug Burgum’s North Dakota also made the top ten.
Meanwhile, as is often the case for economic liberty issues, other New England states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont are among America’s worst performers. All three are in the bottom 10 for U.S. states.
“New Hampshire is proof for all of North America that economic freedom creates maximum opportunity and prosperity,” Josiah Bartlett Center President Andrew Cline said. “The formula is proven, and anyone can follow it. Even Vermont, if it wants to.”
According to the report, the Fraser Institute looks at 10 variables in three areas to analyze the states and provinces: Government spending, taxes, and labor market freedom.
During his four terms in office, Gov. Chris Sununu has often touted New Hampshire’s place at the top of economic rankings, either for New England or the entire U.S. The Granite State has recently been named the state with the best ROI (Return on Investment) in the nation. And the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranked New Hampshire as having the best tax climate in New England and the sixth best in the U.S.
New Hampshire’s economic success has caught the attention of DeSantis, who confessed he is used to Florida being at the top of the rankings.
“I remember when I did the Amos Tuck Dinner [a GOP fundraiser], I was researching New Hampshire, and I was like, ‘You know, normally I’m able to say Florida’s number one on all this,’ but it was New Hampshire and Florida at the top — particularly for economic freedom. So I give Gov. Sununu props,” DeSantis said at a campaign stop in Londonderry last month.
While the two Democrats running to replace Sununu declined to respond to questions, the two Republicans running for governor next year made the case that the Granite State’s success didn’t happen by accident.
“New Hampshire is leading not only the nation but all of North America in economic freedom. It’s no accident, and it’s not luck either,” said former state Senate President Chuck Morse. “It’s because we elect conservative leaders who get results. It is what I did as Senate President, and it’s what I’ll do as governor.”
Republican Kelly Ayotte had a similar message.
“With Gov. Sununu’s leadership, New Hampshire has been a beacon of economic freedom for our country, but we’re only one election away from losing our New Hampshire advantage. We need strong conservative leadership to protect our economic freedom, and as governor, I look forward to ensuring New Hampshire remains the best state to do business in the country.”