The freest states in America are the cheapest states to live in and the best states to raise a family because they have less taxation and greater personal freedoms. They have less taxation, because they have less debt due to their fiscal freedoms. They have greater personal freedoms, such as being easier to home school.
I did a “worst of” list of states in the country over a month ago. To finish the whole thing off, I figured I needed to do the Top 10 States in the Country as far as freedoms go. The problem with the “overall freedom” number is the fact that there are a lot of states with financial liberty, but mediocre personal freedoms. I personally would advise Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, or New Hampshire as places to consider if you are tired of your state. With that, let’s get on with it:
Barely making the list at #10, Utah has light gun control, good employment, is a right-to-work state, and lacks outrageous regulations on home and private school. It has high regulation on tobacco and alcohol. Utah has high debt, which is why taxes are a little higher and they have a bit of overregulation on occupational licensing.
One of the few states that break the mold, here. You will see a trend that many of these states are great in most regulations, but their personal liberties are average at best. Georgia is almost top 10 on personal liberty, although with the urban spaces growing, partly due to fiscal liberty, it may not maintain the personal freedoms it has now. Georgia has relaxed labor laws, no minimum wage, and is a right-to-work state. They also have less restrictive gun control than many states around them. Although private school is hardly regulated, home school is really strict.
I have lived here, and although Virginia is considered extremely free, They suck at personal freedoms. I don’t recommend living in a place that your WORDS are regulated in public. But they do have open carry. They are about average on homeschool and private school, only because their extensive standardized testing requirements. Their spending and taxes are low.
Another one of the three states in the top 10 list with good personal freedoms. Missouri has also proven to consistently move to greater freedom. Missouri is a little high in debt and is not a right-to-work state. Occupational freedom is high, unless you are in the medical field. They have very light gun control and light home school regulations except their strict recordkeeping requirements.
Another conservative state that scores well economically, but not personally. Idaho has the second lowest debt ration in the United States, but their government spending is high due to grants. A right-to-work state with no minimum wage, Idaho has one of the best occupational freedoms. They also do well on education and motorist laws.
Into the orange states not (top 5), a state so free that it is pointing it’s finger to California and laughing. It still lacks personal freedom, like many conservative states. It is pretty much average. They have low taxes and debt, but high in spending due to lots of government jobs. Land use freedoms are fairly nice and it is a right-to-work state. Although lower than the average, the occupational licenses are high in OK. Light Gun control. Don’t smoke marijuana and get caught though, because you could spend LIFE in prison for it. Private and home schools are pretty much unregulated as well.
Home of the Free-State Project, New Hampshire is the third state with high personal freedoms, and the main drop in their overall ranking was the use of stimulus dollars and some raised taxes and fees. Their tax burden is among the lowest in the nation. They have cut spending recently as well. Gun control is among the most liberal in the country, but carrying firearm in vehichles require concealed-carry permit. They also have no seat belt law for adults, fairly liberal homeschooling laws and they also have a TAX CREDIT for homeschool expenses. The only thing that keeps me from moving here is the lack of warmth and long growing seasons.
This is my home state right now. Tennessee has fourth lowest tax in the country (that is overall tax), and they have no income tax. Their government debt is low, their spending is average, and government employment is low. TN is strong on labor market freedom and is a right-to-work state. It has poor occupational freedom with all of the license requirements. We homeschool and TN expressly permits homeschooling by statute. The gun control laws here are among the best in the south.
Another overall free state with low personal freedom… among the lowest 5. This is the stereotypical “red state”. Spending and debt are low. Taxation is low. Government employment is high. Labor laws are good. Residential land-use is fairly good. Gun and alcohol freedoms are good, but there are lots of regulations on cigarettes and they have high victimless crime arrest rates. Police are allowed to take DNA samples from felony arrestees. They have strict home-school standardization.
Much better than it’s southern brother, North Dakota is #1 overall mostly due to its regulatory and fiscal policies. Personal freedoms are slightly above average. It has very low taxes and government debt, but spending is high. They have lots of government employees. North Dakota has high land-use freedoms. North Dakota is a right-to-work state. Occupational licensing is high, but the fees, education, and experience requirements are low. Gun control is relaxed. Alcohol regulations low along with taxes. Good motorist laws. Lots of victimless crime arrests. Among the worst school regulations in the country, with private and home schooling being extremely regulated. Oh, and it is COLD in the winter!
Now, let’s add an interactive snapshot of all of the states.
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