State News

Report gives Georgia high marks for economic freedom

(The Center Square) — A new report found Georgia among the freest states in the republic.

The Economic Freedom of North America 2022 report from the Canadian-based Fraser Institute ranked Georgia eighth. The report explored freedom across three areas for the 2019-20 fiscal year — government spending, taxes and regulation.

“This is another report that reinforces Georgia’s place in the country as a freedom leader, especially during the pandemic and now in post-pandemic life,” Erik Randolph, director of research for the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said in a release.

Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota and Texas were among the states at the top of the list, while New York, California, Delaware and Hawaii ranked at the bottom. The report, which covered the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns, found a decrease in freedom overall.

“Hundreds of independent studies have produced overwhelming evidence that higher levels of economic freedom are associated with more opportunity, more prosperity, greater economic growth and more jobs,” Dean Stansel, a co-author of the report and an economist at Southern Methodist University, said in a release.

Peach State politicians have continually pointed to the state’s policies as the reason for its success, particularly Georgia’s business climate.

Last month, state officials announced Georgia earned the “Top State for Doing Business” designation from Area Development, a publication focused on corporate site selection and relocation. It marked the eighth year in a row that the state nabbed the honor.

“From freight to fintech, agriculture to small businesses and innovation, Georgia remains an economic powerhouse,” Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan said in a release at the time. “Even during a life-altering year, Georgia has seen unprecedented growth and development, all while keeping our unemployment rate as one of the lowest in the nation.”

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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