Taiwan leaps forward on Human Freedom Index

Taiwan moves up to No.18 from No.26 the previous year

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Election rally in Taiwan. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan jumped forward eight spots to reach No.18 on the Human Freedom Index for 2017 presented by the Fraser Institute of Canada, reports said Saturday.

The country received a score of 8.34 out of 10 for “human freedom,” a rating resulting from the combination of the 8.98 it received for personal freedom and the 7.70 for economic freedom, the Liberty Times reported.

Each category is further subdivided into different variations. Taiwan received a perfect 10 for freedom of movement, while the worst figure was a 4.4 for the impartiality of its courts, part of the category “legal system and property rights,” which earned 6.8, a lower figure than all other categories.

Taiwan was one of only 61 countries out of 159 reviewed where freedom increased in 2017 compared to the previous year, the Fraser Institute said.

Switzerland came out on top of the list, followed by Hong Kong, the only Asian territory to finish ahead of Taiwan. New Zealand was No.3, Ireland No.4 and Australia No.5.

The rest of the top-10 was filled up with European countries, with Finland, Norway, Denmark at No.6 to No.8 respectively, and the Netherlands and the United Kingdom tied at No.9

The United States came in just ahead of Taiwan, at No.17, while Asian nations following closely were Japan at No.27 and South Korea at No.29. China featured at No.130, lower than India and Russia, but ahead of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and No.159, Syria.

The Fraser Institute is a Canadian public policy think tank based in Vancouver and has been described by some media as libertarian and conservative.