When it comes to freedom in the U.S., taking into account personal, economic and regulatory freedoms, the states are not created equal.
Just how free a state is, is mapped out in a study done by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia. The study looks at and examines a state's public and financial policies and their affect on citizens.
In a video posted on the center's Web site, the study's authors explain what the study means in terms of impact to a state itself.
"States that have greater and greater burdens on their citizens, not only in terms of their wallet, but in terms of their social life, these are states that are loosing citizens to other states that are more free," said Mercatus Center affiliated scholar Will Ruger.
Topping the list are the most free states like New Hampshire, South Dakota and Indiana. At the bottom are New York, New Jersey and California. The Magnolia State sits right in the middle at number 24.
The study finds Mississippi defies some of the stereotypes about the Deep South and does very well on personal freedom, but not economic freedom.
While Mississippi may not be at the top of the list, it's also not at the bottom. The last time the study was done was two years ago. Mississippi was number 25, one place lower than its current ranking.
As Mississippi continues the battle of economic growth and retaining its residents, the study points to a way of making it happen.
"For these states to turn their economies around and stop to flow of productive people leaving, they're going to have to increase freedom on both the economic and personal sides," said Mercatus Center affiliated scholar Jason Sorens.
The authors of the study say it can be a great asset to local lawmakers and scholars as well as businesses and individuals looking to make a move to or from a given state.
To view the full study, click on the link below.
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