Economic-freedomThe wide differences in economic freedom that we observe at the country level can exist at the subnational level as too (e.g., residents in Texas and Florida have greater economic freedom than those in California and New York). But until recently, there were no local indices comparable to the national and global rankings. In a recently published study for the Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy, Dean Stansel, professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University, shows that greater economic freedom in metropolitan areas corresponds to higher incomes and lower unemployment in these localities.

Here are the most and least free metro areas in America:

The 20 Most-Free Metro Areas

1. Naples-Marco Island, FL
2. Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL
3. Manchester-Nashua, NH
4. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL
5. Bradenton-SarasotaVenice, FL
6. Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL
7. Rockingham CountyStrafford County, NH
8. Palm Bay-MelbourneTitusville, FL
9. Sioux Falls, SD
10. Tampa-St. PetersburgClearwater, FL
11. Charlottesville, VA
12. Jacksonville, FL
13. Tyler, TX
14. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
15. Pensacola-Ferry PassBrent, FL
16. Ocala, FL
17. Boulder, CO
18. San Angelo, TX
19. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
20. Richmond, VA

The 20 Least-Free Metro Areas

1. El Centro, CA
2. Visalia-Porterville, CA
3. Merced, CA
4. Kingston, NY
5. Glens Falls, NY
6. Bakersfield, CA
7. New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
8. Modesto, CA
9. Fresno, CA
10. Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA
11. Hanford-Corcoran, CA
12. Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH
13. Fairbanks, AK
14. Utica-Rome, NY
15. Binghamton, NY
16. Stockton, CA
17. Anchorage, AK
18, Madera-Chowchilla, CA
19. Yuba City, CA
20. Longview, WA

Most- and Least-Free Metro Area in the Ten Most Populous States

1. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA
2. El Centro, CA
3. Tyler, TX
4. Laredo, TX
5. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
6. Kingston, NY
7. Naples-Marco Island, FL
8. Palm Coast, FL
9. Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI
10. Champaign–Urbana, IL
11. Lancaster, PA
12. Johnstown, PA
13. Cincinnati-Middleton, OH-KY-IN
14. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH
15. Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI
16. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI
17. Newark-Union, NJ-PA
18. Ocean City, NJ
19. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
20. Albany, GA

The complete list of 384 areas can be found in Table A2 of the paper’s appendix.

(Via: EconomicFreedom.org)