The Human Freedom Index measures economic and personal freedom in a country. This ranges from security and the rule of law to freedom of the press, religious freedom, freedom of opinion, economic stability and so on. The index is made up by two self-proclaimed liberal think tanks and an independent think tank (the Fraser Institute) that is described as liberal. In order to calculate the index they only use external sources, in order to avoid the deliberate or unconscious colouring of the figures.
New Zealand heads the ranking, followed by Switzerland, Hong Kong and Australia. After these, we find some strong welfare states (Finland, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands), which already weakens the suspicion of libertarian ambitions.
Belgium is in 27nd place, 5 places lower than in the previous edition. We have a particularly high personal freedom (19th place), where we regularly obtain the highest possible score for a sub-index. Examples are freedom of domestic and foreign mobility, the freedom to start your own religion, the freedom of association and of information. In addition to these top results, however, we find ourselves in 52rd place for economic freedom, mainly due to the size of the government and regulation.