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Austria and US Rank Highly as Business-Friendly Countries

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September 29, 2009

Economic freedom survey places US and Austria as sixth and thirteenth in world  

In the newly released “Economic Freedom of the World” report produced by the Fraser Institute, Austria ranks thirteenth and the United States sixth in world economic freedom out of 141 nations. The top five ranking countries according to the report are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Chile. Started by a team including Milton Friedman in 1984, the study measures economic freedom in five different areas and is based on the premise that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans.

Taking a closer look at the study reveals very similar scores between the U.S. and Austria concerning access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation of credit, labor and business. In the category “Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights”, Austria has higher scores in “Impartial courts” and “Military interference in rule of law and the political process” than the US. In “Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises” the U.S. has higher scores in “Top marginal income and payroll tax rates” and “Top marginal income rate” than Austria. The 2009 report is based on data from 2007, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available.