After a year in second place, ‘Live Free or Die’ New Hampshire is back on top of the Cato Institute’s “Freedom in the 50 States” index, knocking Florida out of the top spot.
The Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom in North America has also ranked the Granite State the top state or province in North America for the second year in a row.
“Our primary focus here in New Hampshire has always been on opening as many doors of opportunity for our residents as possible,” Gov. Chris Sununu said regarding the new Cato analysis. “We ignore the politics and simply focus on delivering results that have a positive impact on the lives of Granite Staters and their families. As the first state to hold the number one spot for both economic and overall freedom, it’s clear that New Hampshire’s approach is the right one.”
Cato also gave Sununu an “A” rating in its latest fiscal responsibility report card, just one of four chief executives to earn top marks. New Hampshire was also named the top state for taxpayers getting the best “return on investment” earlier this year as well.
“This study validates what Granite Staters already know – that New Hampshire is a bastion for freedom across the country,” said Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire State Director Greg Moore. “The steps that the state has made in recent years to lower taxes, reduce regulation and expand educational opportunity are paying off and have made us the freest state in the nation.”
New Hampshire’s 2.9 percent unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation. It’s also significantly lower than all of its New England neighbors except Vermont (2.8 percent.)
But, Moore says, the Granite State can’t afford to rest on its economic laurels.
“The report also shows us where we need to do more work, including passing a Right-To-Work law, reducing land use barriers that limit development, and loosening laws on occupational licensing, so that fewer people need a government permission slip to work. It’s great to be the freest state in the nation and we should be looking for ways to build on our success to make New Hampshire even freer.”
House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) says the GOP-controlled legislature deserves part of the credit.
“Last year, we made significant achievements in advancing the freedoms of Granite Staters. We empowered parents to make the best educational choices for their children by passing Education Freedom Accounts. We cut over $170 million in taxes and put money back in the pockets of all Granite Staters. Even with this progress, there is always more work to be done. In 2022, House Republicans will continue to expand individual liberties, fight an intrusive and overreaching federal government, and protect the New Hampshire Advantage,” Osborne said.