December 26, 2023 Reading Time: 2 minutes

How free is your state? Why has New York gone from a beacon of liberty to a state that people now flee in droves? And why are people moving to places like Florida, New Hampshire and South Dakota?

Way back in the early 2000s, Jason Sorens paired up with now-AIER president William Ruger to find out.

Jason joined Kate Wand on Liberty Curious to discuss his book, Freedom In the Fifty States, and the interactive tool that measures economic and personal freedom across American states. Now in its 7th edition, the book uses a data set measuring over 230 policies from all 50 states, to see how well each state performs.

Jason Sorens is Senior Research Faculty and founder of the New Hampshire Free State Project. They discuss the freest and least free states, voting with your feet, and surprising findings from the latest edition. Jason also emphasizes the role of individuals in changing policies and promoting freedom in their states.

Use these handy timestamps to navigate the video:
0:00 – intro
1:28 – What is Freedom in the 50 States?
4:24 – Personal freedom & economic freedom
8:19 – Which state is the most free?
10:01 – Florida & New Hampshire
14:15 – Can a free state insulate you from Federal Government overreach?
18:10 – The states ranking lowest in freedom
19:51 – What happened to New York?
23:37 – Freedom vs High Taxes & Paternalism
26:30 – Biggest surprises
29:30 – Correlation between Red/Blue states
32:15 – Purple states
33:00 – Updates in this edition
35:00 – The interactive tool:
38:06 – How to use this tool
40:46 – Is policy what really affects freedom?
43:25 – How can people change policy?
46:30 – Last thoughts?

Engage the map and data yourself:
Enjoy all our podcast offerings:

Kate Wand

Kate Wand is a content creator. Her focus is social commentary and filmmaking. She is the host of AIER’s Liberty Curious podcast.

You can follow her on Twitter @katewand.

Get notified of new articles from Kate Wand and AIER.

Jason Sorens

Jason Sorens

Jason Sorens, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow at AIER. He is also Principal Investigator on the New Hampshire Zoning Atlas. Jason was formerly the director of the Center for Ethics in Society at Saint Anselm College. He has researched and written more than 20 peer‐​reviewed journal articles, a book for McGill‐​Queens University Press titled Secessionism, and a biennially revised book for the Cato Institute, Freedom in the 50 States (with William Ruger).

His research is focused on housing policy and land-use regulation, U.S. state politics, fiscal federalism, and movements for regional autonomy and independence around the world. He has taught at Yale, Dartmouth, and the University at Buffalo and twice won awards for best teaching in his department. He lives in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Get notified of new articles from Jason Sorens and AIER.