Chile was once again named the regional leader in the 2014 Economic Freedom Index, continuing almost two decades of high scores in the Heritage Foundation-run ranking.
A joint endeavour with the Wall Street Journal, the index has ranked the world’s countries on the freedom they afford their citizens to control their own labor and property since 1995.
Chile’s economic freedom score for 2014 is 78.7. Despite a minor decrease of 0.3 from last year’s rating — small declines in labor freedom, business freedom, and fiscal freedom were largely offset by improvements in investment freedom — the Andean nation retained its place as the 7th freest country in the entire index, a position it has held for several years.
The country’s long-term stability was noted in this year’s summary.
“Over the 20-year history of the Index, Chile has been consistently rated one of the “mostly free” economies, achieving economic freedom scores above 70,” reads the report. “Three of the country’s 10 economic freedoms—freedom from corruption, investment freedom, and financial freedom—have recorded score gains of 20 points or more since 1995.”
The index also highlighted the country’s responsible attitude towards spending as important in the context of many developed countries running significant budgetary deficits.
“As a global leader in economic freedom, Chile continues to uphold principles of limited government through prudent public finance management that has kept public debt and budget deficits under control,” reads the report.
Chile comfortably surpassed both the regional average (57.3) and the global average score (60.3). Asides from Chile, the two other regional successes were Colombia and Santa Lucia which shared second and third place in Latin America, tied with scores of 70.7 each.
Earlier this month, Chile was ranked the number one country in Latin America for providing a welcoming business environment for female entrepeneurs. Another recent accolade saw the Andean nation placed among the 15 top places to invest in 2014 by Dutch trade publication Rotterdam Week.
Read the full report here.